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  The Many Faces of Taro
From: mossytrail at hctc.com (mossytrail) on 2008.01.21 at 05:13:04(16977)
I recently visited Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.
I saw some very large, sagittate aroids there, and asked
what they were. "Taro," was the reply.

Later, I got a fuller explanation. As my native guide and I
walked along a roadside, we saw four species, which he
explained to me thus: Colocasia esculenta, the
green-petioled variety, he called "Tahitian taro;" the
purple-petioled form, he did not know the name. Alocasia
macrorrhizos, he called "wild taro," saying that in former
times, it was used for food, but no longer. Xanthosoma sp.,
he called "Hawaiian taro." And Cyrtosperma chamissonis, the
kind I had originally seen, he called simply "taro," and
said it was the local variety.

In my several days there, I found that Cyrtosperma was the
most widely grown kind, in swampy mountain forests as well
as villages. Green-petiole Colocasia was next. The other
three were seldom seen. Cyrtosperma seemed to grow equally
well in sun or shade, provided the soil was sufficiently

From: lbmkjm at yahoo.com (brian lee) on 2008.01.21 at 16:43:04(16979)
Dear Jason.

Aloha. From your Aroidiana article, I know you've
been at large in Hawaii. Were you studying
naturalized aroids in Pohnpei?

Were you able to learn details about the indigenous
use of the various taro in Micronesia? How they
prepare and cook the various forms, etc?
Do the native Pohnpei people consider their plants
sacred as in Hawaii?

Now were you able to see ruins of Nan Madol? I would
be interested to know if there are any agricultural
evidence associated with the archaeological
site....especially Cyrtosperma. Did you witness any
evidence that Cyrtosperma endures brackish conditions?
How about Metroxylon amicarum, the Caroline Ivory Nut
Palm? Did you see any evidence of cutural
associations with this species and are the native
people currently utilizing any parts ethnobotanically?



From: abri1973 at wp.pl (Marek Argent) on 2008.01.22 at 03:08:20(16982)

Hello Jason,

So here it's me again with this controversive stamp from Micronesia,
recently when I sent this to Aroid-L,
it was identified as Colocasia esculenta, according to the book by Deni Bown
where she wrote
that in the Oceania C. esculenta has not peltate leaves.
Now you put me in a different light explaining that the plant can be a
species of Cyrtosperma.
I haven't seen C. chamissonis, so I can't tell which of the plant is there
on the stamp.
Could you please help me, it's very important to me.

Marek Argent

From: mossytrail at hctc.com (mossytrail) on 2008.01.23 at 02:31:59(16986)
> Aloha. From your Aroidiana article, I know you've
> been at large in Hawaii. Were you studying
> naturalized aroids in Pohnpei?
I was only there four days, on vacation, so I didn't get
much studying in. But I think all the aroids there are

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