Greek xanthos – yellow, soma – body, referring to the yellow tissue found in some species.
Large herbs with thick rhizomes or tubers and milky sap. Leaves entire, leathery, arrowhead-shaped or divided on a radius (pedate) into 3-13 divisions. Leaf stalks long and fleshy. Flower stalk short. Spathe constricted between the tube at the base and the main blade. Spadix club-shaped, the flowers unisexual, perianth absent. Ovary with 2-4 chambers each containing numerous ovules.
Grown for the ornamental leaves.
57 species from tropical America.
Division of the tubers and rhizomes.
Grown for the edible, often colourfully fleshed, tubers. In S America, the young leaves are eaten like spinach.
Sap milky; leaves more or less arrowhead shaped cf. Colocasia. Similar to Caladium but with a constriction between the ovary and the style.
Source: (2005). Araceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.