Food Plants International - Plant Fact Sheets Xanthosoma sagittifolium - Chinese taro
Edible portion : Tubers, Root, Leaves, Vegetable, Leaf Stalk, Stem
A herb up to 2 m tall. It has a short stem. At the top of the stem it produces large leaves. A corm is produced at the base of the plant. It produces about 10 cormels on the underground corm. These are about 15-25 cm long and flask shaped. The get wider towards the tip. Leaves are large and the stalk joins to the edge of the leaf. The leaves stand erect on stout petioles. There is a vein around the edge of the leaf. The leaf stalks can be 1 m long. The leaf blade is oval and 50-75 cm long. The leaf has triangular lobes at the bottom. The flower is produced below the leaves. The large bract around the flower is pale green and about 20 cm long. The bases of this overlap. The closely arranged spike of flowers is about 15 cm long. The smaller female section is at the bottom and the male section is larger and towards the top. There is a variety with blue on the stalks and leaves that was called Xanthosoma violaceum. X. mafaffa. The leaves are broad and spearhead shape. They are 60-130 cm long. There is a gap in the leaf blade on either
A tropical plant. It suits tropical rainforest regions. It grows well in hot, humid tropical areas. It can stand high rainfall. It can tolerate light shade. It does well in regions with an annual average temperature of 26°C. It grows from sea level up to about 2000 m. Soils need to be well drained but should be moist. It needs a well distributed rainfall of 1,400-2,100 mm during the growing season. It does not do well in atoll soils. The best pH if 5.5-6.8.