Colocasia esculenta (Elephant's
ear, Taro potato, Cocoyam)
Amadoembie [Afrikaans]; Amadumbe [Zulu]
> eukaryotes >
Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants)
> Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants)
> Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering
> Monocotyledons > Order: Alismatales
> Family: Araceae > Genus: Colocasia
|Colocasia esculenta, Odzi
River (near Hot Springs), Zimbabwe. [photos Bart Wursten ©, Flora of Zimbabwe]
This member of the Arum Lily family orginates from India and
has tubers that are cooked and eaten in a similar manner to
potatoes. It has been under
cultivation in Southeast Asia for about 10 000 years and is now grown
widely in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. It has been cultivated in
suitable parts of southern Africa for centuries and was possibly first introduced here by
Portuguese traders before 1500. It grows best in moist heavy soils and
plants take 5-10 months to reach maturity. The tubers contain mainly
starch but also have good levels of vitamin C, phosphorus and iron.
- van Wyk, B.-E. 2005. Food Plants of the World -
Identification, Culinary Uses and Nutritional Value. Briza, Pretoria.
- van Wyk, B.-E. & Gericke, N. 2000. People's
Plants. Briza Publications, Pretoria.