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Colocasia gigantea (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Colocasia gigantea (Blume ex Hassk.) J.D. Hooker


Family: Araceae

Synonyms

  • Caladium giganteum Blume ex Hassk.,
  • Colocasia indica Hassk., non Kunth,
  • Leucocasia gigantea (Blume ex Hassk.) Schott.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: rombang (Javanese), lumpuy (Sundanese), kamumu (Minangkabau)
  • Thailand: khun (central), bon (south-west), ok dip (peninsular)
  • Vietnam: dọc mùng, m[oon] to (The code [oon] doesn't exist in the PROSEA table).

Distribution

From India throughout South-East Asia to Australia. Is occasionally also cultivated in South-East Asia.

Uses

The fruits smell like Alpinia malaccensis (Burm.f.) Roscoe and are used as a flavouring; they are also eaten as a snack. The petioles are eaten as a vegetable.

Observations

  • Erect, fleshy, latex-producing herb, up to 2 m tall, with a tuberous subterranean rhizome.
  • Leaves peltate, with a bilobed base, pinnately veined; petiole up to 1.5 m long, light green, white-pruinose; blade ovate in outline, 25-120 cm × 17-35 cm, basal lobes pointing downwards, connate up to half their length, anterior lobe much longer than the basal ones and having 4-6 primary veins.
  • Inflorescence a spadix; peduncle up to 55 cm long; spathe oblong, 5-15 cm × 4-8 cm, white, 1.5-2 times as long as the tubular part of the spadix; tubular part 3-8 cm long; female portion of spadix 4-8 cm long, fertile part 2-3.5 cm long; male part 2-9.5 cm long; sterile appendage of spadix 3-6 mm long.
  • Fruit an oblongoid berry, about 1 cm long.

C. gigantea produces hydrocyanic acid. It occurs in lower mountainous regions, in shady and moist sites, up to 1000 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink Jr, R.C., 1963-1968. Flora of Java. 3 volumes. Wolters‑Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands. Vol. 1 (1963), 647 pp., Vol. 2 (1965), 641 pp., Vol. 3 (1968), 761 pp.
  • Burkill, I.H., 1935. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. 2 volumes. Crown Agents for the Colonies, London, United Kingdom. 2402 pp. (slightly revised reprint, 1966. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2444 pp.).
  • Heyne, K., 1927. De nuttige planten van Nederlandsch Indië [The useful plants of the Dutch East Indies]. 2nd edition, 3 volumes. Departement van Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel in Nederlandsch Indië. 1953 pp. (3rd edition, 1950. van Hoeve, 's‑Gravenhage/Bandung, the Netherlands/Indonesia. 1660 pp.).
  • Mansfeld, R., 1986. Verzeichnis landwirtschaftlicher und gärtnerischer Kulturpflanzen (ohne Zierpflanzen) [Register of agricultural and horticultural plants in cultivation (without ornamentals)]. Schultze‑Motel, J. et al., editors 2nd edition, 4 volumes. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 1998 pp.

Authors

P.C.M. Jansen