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  colocasia non-tubers
From: Lester Kallus <lkallus at earthlink.net> on 1997.11.12 at 14:10:26(1610)
It's that time of year and I'm digging up my colocasias and alocasias
before the frost for a change. Usually I try to dig through frozen, thawed
and now-mushed leaves to find tubers. Anyway, it makes me realize that
there's a great variation in tuber formation in these plants.

Perhaps the best example is the plain Colocasia esculenta. Some of these
have the typical cone shaped tuber at the base of the stalk. This is even
true for some of the smaller plants. Others look like roots coming out of
the base of the petiole with no tuber at all.

C. antiquorum illustris, C. fontanesii, C. "Burgandy stem" and C. "Blackie
alias Black Magic alias Black leaf alias Voodoo alias whathaveyou" formed
no tubers at all. They have roots coming out of what looks like the base
of the massed petioles.

So the question is: for those Colocasia that formed no tuber, is there a
way to safely store them out of the soil over the winter? shall I just
save several inches of "base of petioles" in vermiculite? I'd rather not
have to purchase these over again and so will grow smaller pieces of them
over the winter if I have to. With the limited space, though, I'd rather
store them in a bag.

I'd appreciate any help.
Les

From: "Jean Carpenter" <backhoe at scan.missouri.org> on 1997.12.01 at 10:48:58(1674)
I read your post but never did see an answer to your question regarding the
tubers for your Colocasia esculenta. I, too, dug mine and have found the
same roots coming from around the stem. If you don't mind, what answer did
you get? I went ahead and dug mine and they are laying in my basement
drying. I don't know if this is good or not. I garden in Southern Missouri,
zone 6. My e-mail address is:
backhoe@scan.missouri.org
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From: Lester Kallus <lkallus at earthlink.net> on 1997.12.01 at 13:46:58(1677)
No responses yet. I recall have read a similar question once before and no
one answered that one. Well perhaps you and I will be answering this for
everyone else shortly. I've photographed all of my tubers and untubers but
haven't gotten around to adding the images to my website yet. Next spring,
I'll keep track of which ones sprout and which don't. I'll post results
and perhaps that will answer our question.

What I'd love to hear from the academicians here, though, is the purpose of
the tuber if the "untubers" also germinate.
Les

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From: "Scott Lucas" <htbg at ilhawaii.net> on 1997.12.01 at 21:14:39(1681)
Please repost the question regarding "Colocasia non-tubers." Taro is an
important commercial crop here in Hawaii and I may be able to provide
assistance. Unfortunately, I seem to have been sleeping at the gun as I
missed the question when it was originally posted.

Scott A. Lucas

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From: "Scott Lucas" <htbg at ilhawaii.net> on 1997.12.03 at 20:54:51(1700)
Dear Clarence Hester:

According to D.J. Mabberley's "The Plant Book" (an excellent reference that
I highly recommend) the genus Colocasia is comprised of 8 species of
tropical Asian TUBEROUS herbs with peltate leaves. Your Colocasia
antiquorum is actually a variety of Colocasia esculenta and produces edible
small tubers that are called eddoes. Also, your Colocasia fontanesii is
properly a cultivar of Colocasia esculenta that was previously described as
Colocasia violacea. With this in mind, I am highly suspicious that the
reason you are not obtaining tubers on your various Colocasias is due to
horticultural problems.

Scott Lucas

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From: Clarence Hester <hesterc at niven.acpub.duke.edu> on 1997.12.04 at 06:33:32(1701)
Scott Lucas wrote:
>
> Dear Clarence Hester:
>
> According to D.J. Mabberley's "The Plant Book" (an excellent reference that
> I highly recommend) the genus Colocasia is comprised of 8 species of
> tropical Asian TUBEROUS herbs with peltate leaves. Your Colocasia
> antiquorum is actually a variety of Colocasia esculenta and produces edible
> small tubers that are called eddoes. Also, your Colocasia fontanesii is
> properly a cultivar of Colocasia esculenta that was previously described as
> Colocasia violacea. With this in mind, I am highly suspicious that the
> reason you are not obtaining tubers on your various Colocasias is due to
> horticultural problems.

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From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at classic.msn.com> on 1997.12.04 at 06:41:34(1702)
----------
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 1997 11:54 PM
To: ju-bo@msn.com
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From: Tony Avent <tony at plantdel.com> on 1997.12.04 at 07:08:03(1703)
Dear Scott:

I have also seen the colocasia references that you mention in
Mabberly. I would love to hear more regarding the classification of
Colocasia antiquorum and C. fontanesii as C. esculenta. Having grown all
three, the growth habit is entirely different on all three. C. esculenta
forms large tubers and is a clump former. C. fontanesia runs vigorously
above ground and forms a semi-tuber, while C. antiquorum runs below ground
and forms no tubers, but a thickened rhizome. Any more insight into how and
why these were classified as forms of C. esculenta would be appreciated.
Tony Avent

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From: "Scott Lucas" <htbg at ilhawaii.net> on 1997.12.04 at 11:15:20(1705)
Dear Clarence Hester and Tony Avent:

Colocasia esculenta is an extremely variable species. In Hawaii, where it
probably reached its maximum variation, more than 400 cultivars were grown.
Today about 80 of these remain. Cultivar proliferation occured due to
microclimate variation and they can be separated into two basic categories:
dry land taro and wet land taro. Wet land taro is cultivated in flooded
ponds much the way rice is cultivated.

Arum esculentum L. Sp. Pl. 965. 1753. is apparently typified by the
illustration of Arum minus, nymphaea folio, esculentum Sloan (Voy. Jam. Nat.
Hist. 1: 167. 1707, 2: t. 106, fig. 1. 1725), although actual specimens
seen by Linnaeus before 1753 may exist in the Sloan or Clifford Herbaria
(BM). Linnaeus apparently regarded this taxon as an American species. It
is probable that it was introduced to the New World after 1492, probably for
consumption by African slaves. Arum colocasia L. Sp. Pl. 965. 1753. and its
homotypic synonyms, including Colocasia antiquorum (of the ancients), can be
typified by a single leaf specimen in the Linnaen Society of London
herbarium, marked with a symbol for "Central Asia," although Linnaeus
published the habitat as "Cretae, Cypri, Syriae, Aegypti aquosis." there is
some question of the place of first valid publication of Colocasia
antiquorum var. esculenta Schott ex Seem. It is commonly attributed to
Schott (Syn. Aroid. 42. 1856, or Prodr. Syst. Aroid. 140. 1860), but I do
not believe that the (1) listing of Colocasia esculenta as a synonym of C.
antiquorum and (2) a statement that "C. esculenta = C. antiq. S. var."
constitute definite indication that the "epithets concerned are to be used
in that particular combination," as required by Art. 33, ICBN. A parallel
example "of combinations not definitely indicated" is given (Art. 33), "The
combination Eulophus peucedanoides must not be ascribed to Bentham on the
basis of the listing of Cnidum Peucedanoides H.B.K. under Eulophus."
Apparently Seemann was the first actually make the combination.

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