|Xanthosoma subsp. var.|
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Xanthosoma (Greek, yellow body, referring to the stigma). Araceae. This group is interesting to the horticulturist as containing the handsome variegated stove foliage plant known to the trade as Phyllotaenium Lindenii, and part of the vegetables known as yautia, malanga, and tanier, a crop to which much of the arable land in Porto Rico is devoted.
Milky herbs of S. and Cent. Amer. with a thick sometimes elongated corm: lvs. arrow-shaped, 3-cut or pedately cut: fls. unisexual, naked; males with 4-6 stamens connate in an inversely pyramidal synandrium with 5 or 6 faces; ovary 2-4-loculed; ovules anatropous.—A genus of 25 species, according to Engler, who has given an account of them in DC. Mon. Phaner., vol. 2 (1879).
Many species of the arum family are noted for their huge corms, some of which are edible after the acrid and more or less poisonous properties are destroyed by cooking. Of this class the best known are the taros (Colocasia esculenta, Schott, the common taro of southern Asia and the Pacific islands, and C. antiquorum, Schott, the Egyptian taro, and the yautias, taniers, or malangas (Xanthosoma sagittifolium, and other species of this genus) of the West Indies. The botany of the species of Xanthosoma is confused. The corms and cormels (offsets) of some taros, and the cormels of some varieties of yautia, are free from acridity even in the raw state as cultivated in southern United States. Yautia corms are strong-flavored and are seldom eaten. The young leaves of colocasia and xanthosoma when properly cooked are said to be equal or superior to spinach.
X. bataviensis, Hort. Said to have purple sts. and dark green lvs., with edible tubers.—X. belophyllum, Kunth, has a short thick erect rhizome and a cordate-hastate lf. Venezuela. Var. caracasanum, C. Koch (X. caracasanum, Schott. Colocasia caracasana, Engl.), has lvs. pale green beneath, the posterior lobes more produced at the apex and the midrib and nerves often rosy. Caracas.—X. cordatum, N. E. Br. Lvs. glabrous: tube of spathe green; blade yellow-green outside, rose-tinted at base, whitish inside. British Guiana.—X. cordifolium, N. E. Br. Allied to X. sagittifolium, but differing in lvs. being obtusely round-cordate and spadix bearing club-shaped neutral organs. British Guiana.—X. Hoffmannii, Schott. Lf.-stalk whitish with dark purple blotches: spathe with green tube, purple inside, the limb white. Costa Rica. —X. maculatum, Nichols., is described as having immense pale green lvs. variegated with creamy yellow, the petiole violet-tinted.— X. Mafaffa, Schott (Colocasia Mafaffa, Hort.). Closely allied to X. belophyllum, has a similar caudex and a cordate-ovate lf., but the posterior costae are separated by a right or acute angle, the angle in X. belophyllum being obtuse.—X. Marshallii is said to be a very rapid grower, with green lvs. and dark sts.—X. nuevoleonense. Grows to 6 ft. high, and has very large lvs. which stand almost horizontal.—X. violaceum, Schott. Lvs. primrose, finally green, sagittate-oblong-ovate, 8-10 in. long. 6-12 in. wide: spathe with a tube 4 in. long, the blade 6 in. long, 3 in. wide.
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Genus of around 50 species, including:
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963