African Plant Database

Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott
Family : ARACEAE
Protologue : Melet. Bot. 1: 18 (1832)
Information on the genus : Colocasia
Basionym : Arum esculentum L.
Status for MA : accepted (naturalised)
Status for NA : accepted (weed)
Status for TA : accepted (cultivated)
Synonym(s) Homotypic
 Arum esculentum L. (1753)
Synonym(s) Heterotypic
=Arum colocasia L. (1753)
=Colocasia antiquorum Schott (1832)
=Colocasia antiquorum var. esculenta Seem.
=Colocasia aegyptiaca Samp. (1914)
=Colocasia fontanesii Schott (1854)
=Colocasia antiquorum var. fontanesii (Schott) Schott (1856)
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Robust herb; stem a swollen starchy tuber, to 30 cm long, 10-15 cm Ø, sometimes with stolons; leaves in a whorl, erect, 1-2 m tall; blade broadly ovate in outline, peltate, cordate-sagittate, 20-40x15-35 cm, basal lobes ± rounded, 3-7 cm long; flowering rare in some cultivars; peduncle c. 15 cm long; spathe 20-30 cm long, basal tube green, short, limb yellow to orange; spadix shorter than spathe with conic sterile appendix 4 cm long (or absent).
Ecology : Cultivated extensively in tropical Africa at 400-2400 m alt. in wet places for its starch-rich tubers ground to give a kind of flour, taro. Frequently naturalized near streams, on river banks or waterfalls. In Togo a member of the Marantochloo purpureae-Anubiadetum giganteae association (Acta Bot. Gall. 158: 413, 2011). The leaves are also used as a vegetable. See Burkill, Useful pl. W. Trop. Afr., ed. 2, 1: 199-202, 1985. Also: Fujimoto in Econ. Bot. 63: 152-166, 2009, on cultivars in SW Ethiopia; Orchard in Austral. Syst. Bot. Soc. Newsl. 129: 2-5, 2006, referring to the infra-specific variation.
Biol./Eco : Herb; distribution: Naturalised in Madagascar.

Bibliography for Tropical Africa :
  • Cat. Pl. Vasc. Burkina Faso:31 (2012)
  • Darbyshire, I. Kordofami, M. & al. (2015). The plants of Sudan and South Sudan, An annoted checklist. Kew Publishing
  • César J. & C. Chatelain (2019). Flore illustrée du Tchad. Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de Genève, Coopération Suisse & Univ. N'Djaména

Bibliography for Southern Africa :
  • Il.Handbook succulent plants: Aizoaceae A-E : 219 (2001).

Bibliography for North Africa :
  • Fl. Eur. 5: 269 (1980).
  • HANSEN, A. & P. SUNDING (1993). Flora of Macaronesia. Checklist of vascular plants. 4. revised edition Sommerfeltia 17: 1-295
  • FENNANE, M. & M. IBN TATTOU (1998). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires rares, menacées ou endémiques du Maroc. Bocconea 8: 243p. 
  • Borges P.A.V., C. Abreu & al. (2008). A list of the terrestrial fungi, flora and fauna of Madeira and Selvagens archipelagos. Direcção Regional do Ambiente da Madeira and Universidade dos Açores
  • Ibn Tattou, M. & M. Fennane (2009). Flore vasculaire du Maroc, inventaire et chorologie [2]. Trav. Inst. Sci. Univ. Mohammed V, Sér. Bot. 39: 142
  • FENNANE, M., M. IBN TATTOU, J. MATHEZ, A. OUYAHYA & J. EL OUALIDI (éd.) (2014). Flore Pratique du Maroc [vol.3] Trav. Inst. Sci. Univ. Mohammed V, Sér. Bot. 3: 337
More info on :
see under Jstor_African Plant Initiative
see under chg
see under The Euro-Mediterranean Plant Base
see under Flore d'Afrique Centrale
see under Fgui
see under The International Plant Name Index
see under Catalogue de Madagascar
see under African Plants - a Photo Guide
see under Missouri Botanical Garden
see under Flora of Zimbabwe
see under Herbarium, North Africa MPU
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Record n°220945 created 2010-02-02
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