Xanthosoma Schott


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: Spencer, R. (2005). Araceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Alismatales
family       Araceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Xanthosoma violaceum Schott