Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott

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Colocasia esculenta

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nr Odzani R. bridge

Colocasia esculenta

Photo: Bart Wursten
By Odzi R., nr Hot Springs

Colocasia esculenta

Photo: Bart Wursten
By Odzi R., nr Hot Springs

Colocasia esculenta

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nyamuakwarara River, John Meikle Reseach Station

Colocasia esculenta

Photo: Bart Wursten
At the bridge of the old power station, Nyahode river, road to Rusitu

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Colocasia antiquorum Schott
Common names: Coco yam (English) Madumbe (Shona) Mudhumbe (Shona) Taro (English)
Frequency: Locally common
Status: Introduced
Perennial herb, growing from a thick tuber. Leaves several on erect petiole sheathing for up to 2/3 of the length, blade broadly ovate-sagittate with rounded basal lobes. Spathe 30-30 cm long; basal tube short, green; limb much longer, yellow to orange. Spadix shorter than the spathe with sterile appendix up to 4 cm long. Flowers unisexual. In some cultivars plants rarely flower.
Notes: It is locally cultivated for its edible tubers and is found as an occasional escape, particularly along rivers in hot areas.
Derivation of specific name: esculenta: edible
Habitat: Mainly by rivers at low altitudes, sometimes forming colonies.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native to tropical Asia.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Thursday 7 September 2006

Haigh, A. & Boyce, P. (2012). Araceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(1) Page 2.

Mayo, S.J. (1985). Araceae Flora of Tropical East Africa Page 5.

Tredgold, M.H. et al. (1986). Food Plants of Zimbabwe Mambo Press Page 42. (Includes a picture).


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Other sources of information about Colocasia esculenta:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Colocasia esculenta
Flora of Malawi: cultivated Colocasia esculenta
Flora of Mozambique: Colocasia esculenta
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Colocasia esculenta
Flora of Zambia: Colocasia esculenta
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Colocasia esculenta
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Colocasia esculenta

External websites:

African Plant Database: Colocasia esculenta
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Colocasia esculenta
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Colocasia esculenta
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Colocasia esculenta
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Colocasia esculenta
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Colocasia esculenta
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Colocasia esculenta
Ispot Southern Africa : Colocasia esculenta
JSTOR Plant Science: Colocasia esculenta
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Colocasia esculenta
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Colocasia esculenta
Tropicos: Colocasia esculenta
West African Plants database: Colocasia esculenta

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Colocasia esculenta., retrieved 22 October 2016

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