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  Re: [aroid-l] Xanthosoma "roseum"
From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2003.01.30 at 00:01:36(9902)
Dear Susan,

Well, I couldn?t access the other pictures (a weird error message
appeared) but the "Xanthosoma sagittifolium" you showed is also X. robustum!
Believe, Xanthosoma sagiitifolium (if it really cultivated in USA) is pretty
rare!!!! In Lorenzi?s book "The tropical plants of Burle-Marx" there are
both species featured and I checked the ID personally, but the angle of the
picture is not good enough to show exactly the differences.
Grayum?s statement on Flora of CR is very accurate, and I agree with him
in almost anything. However, based on my experience cultivating those
beasts, Xanthosoma sagittifolium will never turn into X. robustum, even when
you allow it to grow fully. I have started both species, side by side, at
the same juvenile state, and they get different with time. On the top of
this, young plants are different too!
Anyhow, I do believe that Xanthosoma sagittifolium is a domesticated
"species" and it is possible that the original stock were gathered from
something within same evolutionary lineage of modern X. robustum. It seems
to have been selected from some neotenic individuals of the X. robustum
complex, because young specimens keep their starch-rich cormels instead of
the spongy adult stem. Even today, only young individuals of X. robustum
(malanga blanca) are harvested as food.
I have an article on cultivated Xanthosoma that I am preparing to be
published in Aroideana, with pictures of most cultivated species. I am
planning to release it this year, so I think a few things will get clear.

Very best wishes,


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