Malanga & Taro are root vegetables popular throughout the tropics across the world. Sometimes the leaves are eaten for wraps of leaf vegetable dishes, but only after much boiling to remove the Oxalic Acid. When eaten as a leaf vegetable its given different names such as belembe, calalous, calaloo or Taioba.
There are several different popular edible Malanga’s & Taro’s: Dasheen Taro (favors soil planting), Edo Taro (favors soil planting), Giant Edible Taro (favors soil planting), Malanga Amarillo (favors wet bog conditions), Malanga Blanca (favors soil planting), Malanga Coco (favors soil planting), Malanga Islena (favors soil planting) & Malanga Lila (favors soil planting). All species enjoy tons of moisture, but most can endure dry periods and survive just fine while some of them normally grown in soil for cultivation might exist just fine in bog-like conditions once started properly in soil. All should be amongst the choicest candidates for Aquaponics cultivation, although some might require more aeration or substrate surface area than others.
Malanga & Taro plants are often called ‘Elephant Ears’, and are plants of the Aroid
class. They resemble many others from the several genus’s covering hundreds of species. Not all are edible, in fact not every variety of the species considered edible are. In Florida, the somewhat compact semi/aquatic highly invasive wild form of taro (Colocasia esculenta)
common in ditches and waterways are not to be eaten.
Harvesting varies between each genus, and is a design of the below ground portions are a good way to tell them apart. Malanga’s send offsets off the core root mass and those are the actual corms, while with the Taro’s the main root base is the portion harvested. With the plants that send offsets, the entire plant is uprooted and the corms removed, then the plant is re-planted. Some types (such as Xanthosoma sagittifolium) can go on to posture dramatically with impressive heights of 12′ or possibly more.
These aroids form cormels (similar to bulbs or tubers) that form beneath the soil at the base, or off the core root mass of the plant. A central large corm grows into a cluster of new sprouting cormels. The edible varieties sizes range from the size of a smaller red potato to giant forms of sometimes a foot. They are usually hairy, but if not almost always rough skinned as if they were. Harvesting size can affect the quality of the end product as with the Edo cultivar of Taro they are typically harvested at 1-4 ounces, but they can easily grow well larger than that yet commercially is almost never is. Their interior tends to be extremely crisp textured with color that ranges from white to speckled to cream to yellow or even pink.
Propagation: Bulbs / Divisions
Leaf: Potherb potential (requiring boiling)
Selection: Malanga & Taro are best when firm and flesh is light-colored.
Ripening: Not necessary
Ethylene Production: Low
Ethylene Sensitivity: Low
Shelf Life: Malanga’s & Taro’s shouldn’t be stored outside of soil substrate for long periods of time. They tend to dry out or rot.
Storage Temperature: 52°F
Storage Humidity: 70% – 80%
Eddo (Colocasia Esculenta) Research Data Links:
Daves Garden – Extension – Floridata – Google – PubMed – USDA – Wikipedia
Plant Germplasm (definition):
Any portion of genetic material that can be grown into a live plant. Examples include seeds, stem cuttings (via many methods including air layering), root cuttings, root divisions (multiplication via division), leaf cuttings, leaf fragments (in tissue culture), rooted nodes (vines), “eyes” (offshoots from potato tubers), cacti pieces, etc. The term germplasm can also be used to describe a collection of genetic resources for an organism such as as a seed collection or, for trees, a nursery.
Buy live tropical Yam (Dioscorea) plants. Edible Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) tubers for sale. Order Live Malanga (Xanthosoma), Eddo & Taro (Colocasia esculenta) corms. Purchase perennial ginger (Zingiber officinale), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) & turmeric (Curcuma longa zedoaria) rhizomes. Selling Jicama (Pachyrhizus erosus) 'yam bean' seeds. Live Semi-Aquatic Water Chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis) bulbs shipped worldwide. Note:
Typically our bulb type live products are dunked into bucket full of an aqueous (water) solution of "Myco Madness
" (mycorrhizal fungi
), Humic Acid & Fulvic Acid
along with the PGR's Brassinolide
, Indole Butryic Acid (IBA)
and Naphthalene Acetic Acid (NAA)
to ensure root growth is triggered. Next the germplasm materials are packed into organic Coconut Coir which itself contains natural rooting hormones. If you intend to eat the roots you'll be ordering include a note and the roots won't be dunked in the PGR solution (which is more effective than compound powder or gel even though water doesn't 'stick' to it).
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Germplasm Factory - Micronursery - Commercial Seed Bank
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