Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott

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Colocasia esculenta

Picture: Bart Wursten
Nr Odzani R. bridge

Colocasia esculenta

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

Colocasia esculenta

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

Colocasia esculenta

Picture: Bart Wursten
Nyamuakwarara River, John Meikle Reseach Station

Colocasia esculenta

Picture: 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:
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.
Type location:
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:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native to tropical Asia.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca):
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 14.

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

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 85.

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).

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: cultivated Colocasia esculenta
Flora of Zimbabwe: Colocasia esculenta
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Colocasia esculenta

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Colocasia esculenta
African Plant Database: Colocasia esculenta
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Colocasia esculenta
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Colocasia esculenta
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Colocasia esculenta
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Colocasia esculenta
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Colocasia esculenta
JSTOR Plant Science: Colocasia esculenta
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Colocasia esculenta
Plants of the World Online: Colocasia esculenta
Tropicos: Colocasia esculenta
Wikipedia: Colocasia esculenta

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-23

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2023). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Colocasia esculenta., retrieved 3 October 2023

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