Colocasia, a group of plants from the family Araceae, which has more than 25 species. The Colocasia plant is native to the Polynesian region and Southeast Asia. This group of plants is also known as “elephant ear” (elephant ear), this name is also assigned to its relatives from the genera Alocasia, Caladium and Xanthosoma. In addition, several species from Colocasia, there are also known as taro, cocoyam, dasheen, chembu, and Eddoe.
The name “colocasia” comes from the ancient Greek “kolocasion” which means “edible root”. Examples of species from Colocasia whose roots are edible are Colocasia esculenta and Nelumbo nucifera. In the Asian region alone Colocasia esculenta has been cultivated for more than ten thousand years, and is an alternative food to rice.
Colocasia Schott in H.W. Schott & Endl.
List of species of the genus Colocasia
Colocasia affinis Schott (syn. C. marshallii) Colocasia bicolor C.L.Long & L.M.Cao Colocasia coryli Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott (syn. C. antiquorum) - var. antiquorum "illustris" - var. antiquorum "Black Beauty" - Colocasia esculenta "Jack's Giant" - Colocasia esculenta "Black Magic" Colocasia fallax Schott Colocasia fontanesii Schott Colocasia formosan Hayata Colocasia gaoligongensis H.Li & C.L.Long Colocasia gigantea (Blume) Hook.f. – Giant Taro Colocasia gongii C.L.Long & H.Li Colocasia gracilis Engl. Colocasia heterochroma H.Li & Z.X.Wei Colocasia humilis Hassk. Colocasia indica (Lour.) Kunth (became Alocasia macrorrhizos (L.) G.Don) Colocasia konishii Hayata Colocasia latifolia Rojas Colocasia lihengiae C.L.Long & K.M.Liu Colocasia macrorrhiza (L.) Schott Colocasia mannii Hook.f. Colocasia marchalii Engl. Colocasia menglaensis J.T.Yin, H.Li & Z.F.Xu Colocasia neocaledonica L. Van Houtte Colocasia neoguineensis Linden ex André (became Schismatoglottis calyptrata (Roxb.) Zoll. & Moritzi Colocasia obtusiloba Kunth Colocasia oresbia A. Hay Colocasia rapiformis Kunth Colocasia tibetensis J.T.Yin Colocasia yunnanensis C.L.Long & X.Z.Cai
Colocasia Pink China Colocasia "Nobal Gigante"
Colocasia is a herbaceous plant with large tubers just below the soil surface. The large leaves are 20-150 cm long, with a sagittate shape. Although this plant has edible tubers, it has a sap that can cause intense irritation and discomfort to the lips, mouth and throat. This is caused by microscopic needles such as calcium oxalate monohydrate raphides and in part by other chemicals, possibly proteases. To cope, before eating the tubers must be soaked and cooked, preferably mixed with tamarind (lime). Colocasia plants can grow wild and fast, so that in some places they can interfere with other wetland plants.
For some species, the Colocasia plant is not only edible for its tubers, but also used by ornamental plant enthusiasts as ornamental plants.
Some of the larvae that use Colocasia as food are Lepidoptera including Palpifer murinus and Palpifer sexnotatus.
Colocasia, including plants that are resistant to all weather and temperature. Growth is best at temperatures between 20°-30°C. At temperatures below 10°C these plants will only survive for a few days before being damaged.
Propagation is done by tubers, by planting below the soil surface, in 1 to 3 weeks the bulbs will grow. Colocasia will grow well in compost-rich soil and in shady and moist soil.
In the South Pacific in addition to the edible tubers, the leaves are also boiled with coconut milk to make a soup that is rich in iron. In Hawaii, the signature dish “Poi”, is made by boiling underground stems. Elsewhere, in the Indian subcontinent, roots and leaves are used. In Manipur India, leaves are made as one of the traditional types of Manipuri cuisine, known as Utti (Ootti). And many more processed foodstuffs derived from this Colocasia plant.