Alocasia talihan Elmer ex Merr.
Arum nigrum Vell.
Arum sagittifolium L.
Arum xanthorrhizon Jacq.
Caladium edule G.Mey.
Caladium mafaffa Engl.
Caladium sagittifolium (L.) Vent.
Caladium utile Engl.
Caladium xanthorrhizon (Jacq.) Willd.
Philodendron nigrum Kunth
Xanthosoma appendiculatum Schott
Xanthosoma atrovirens K.Koch & C.D.Bouché
Xanthosoma blandum Schott
Xanthosoma edule (G.Mey.) Schott
Xanthosoma ianthinum K.Koch & C.D.Bouché
Xanthosoma jacquinii Schott
Xanthosoma mafaffa Schott
Xanthosoma nigrum Stellfeld
Xanthosoma peregrinum Griseb.
Xanthosoma roseum Schott
Xanthosoma sagittifolium K.Koch
Xanthosoma utile K.Koch & C.D.Bouché
Xanthosoma xantharrhizon (Jacq.) K.Koch
Common Name: Tania
Tania is a robust, herbaceous plant with a short stem, on the apex of which are borne a few large leaves with long erect petioles. It can reach a height of 1.3 - 2.5 metres[
A very important staple food crop in the tropics, considered second in importance only to taro and eddo (Colocasia esculentum)[
]. It is widely cultivated, especially in S. America and the Caribbean, west Africa and tropical Asia, for its edible corms[
All parts of the plant contain calcium oxalate crystals. This substance is toxic fresh and, if eaten, makes the mouth, tongue and throat feel as if hundreds of small needles are digging in to them. However, calcium oxalate is easily broken down either by thoroughly cooking the plant or by fully drying it and, in either of these states, it is safe to eat the plant. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet[
Northern S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela; C. America - Panama, Costa Rica.
Tania is often grown where the soil moisture content is too low for the successful cultivation of Colocasia, but production is most successful in areas of high air humidity[
]. The crop is often restricted to lowland areas where climatic conditions favour rapid growth, it grows best at elevations below 800 metres, though successful crops have been produced at elevations up to 1,900 metres[
]. It grows best in areas with a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 750 - 6,000mm[
]. It prefers a mean annual temperature within the range 20 - 28°c, but can tolerate 10 - 35°c[
Grows best in a fertile soil rich in organic matter[
]. Dislikes heavy clay soils[
]. Tolerant of some shade, though it grows best in full sun[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7, tolerating 4.5 - 7.8[
It can take 240 - 420 days to produce its first crop[
Optimum yields of corms are 25 - 37 tonnes per hectare, though the average is about 6 - 12 tonnes[
Like many species in the family Araceae, this plant has the ability to heat the flowering spadix as the pollen becomes ready for fertilization. This heat greatly increases the strength of the aroma released by the plant, thus attracting more pollinating insects. It can also have the effect of making the insects more active, thus increasing the level of fertilization[
Root - cooked[
]. It can be boiled, baked or fried[
]. The dried and peeled corm can be ground into a flour[
]. Rich in carbohydrates, calcium, iron, and phosphorus[
]. The flask-shaped tubers are usually up to 15 - 25cm long[
]. See notes above on toxicity before eating the corm[
Young leaves and petioles - cooked and eaten like spinach[
]. See notes above on toxicity before eating the leaves[
The plant is used as a nurse-crop for cacao[
Seed - rarely produced in cultivation[
Division of the smaller corms that are produced on the side of the main corm[
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