Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott, Melet. Bot. 19 1832. (Syn: Alocasia talihan Elmer ex Merr.; Arum nigrum Vell. [Illegitimate]; Arum sagittaefolium hort. ex Steud.; Arum sagittifolium L.; Arum sagittifolium (Michx.) Pursh; Arum xanthorrhizon Jacq.; Caladium edule G.Mey.; Caladium mafaffa Engl.; Caladium sagittifolium (L.) Vent.; Caladium sagittifolium (Michx.) Nutt.; Caladium utile Engl.; Caladium xanthorrhizon (Jacq.) Willd.; Philodendron nigrum Kunth [Invalid]; Xanthosoma appendiculatum Schott; Xanthosoma atrovirens K.Koch & C.D.Bouché; Xanthosoma atrovirens Fournet …….; Xanthosoma blandum Schott; Xanthosoma edule (G.Mey.) Schott; Xanthosoma ianthinum K.Koch & C.D.Bouché; Xanthosoma jacquinii Schott; Xanthosoma mafaffa Schott .; Xanthosoma nigrum Stellfeld; Xanthosoma nigrum Mansf.; Xanthosoma peregrinum Griseb.; Xanthosoma poeppigii var. mafaffa (Schott) J.F.Macbr.; Xanthosoma roseum Schott; Xanthosoma sagittifolium K.Koch [Illegitimate]; Xanthosoma utile K.Koch & C.D.Bouché; Xanthosoma violaceum Schott; Xanthosoma xantharrhizon (Jacq.) K.Koch);
Alabama; Bangladesh; Benin; Bolivia; Borneo; Brazil North; Brazil Northeast; Cayman Is.; Christmas I.; Colombia; Cook Is.; Costa Rica; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Easter Is.; Ecuador; Gabon; Gilbert Is.; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Gulf of Guinea Is.; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Leeward Is.; Malaya; Mexico Southeast; Mexico Southwest; Nicaragua; Niue; Norfolk Is.; Panam; Peru; Puerto Rico; Society Is.; Trinidad-Tobago; Venezuela; Venezuelan Antilles; Windward Is.; Zare; Zimbabwe as per Catalogue of Life;
arrowleaf elephant ear or arrowleaf elephant’s ear;


Xanthosoma left, Colocasia right
Xanthosoma left, Colocasia right

As per efi thread:
Differences between Xanthosoma & Colocasia:

1. Xanthosoma leaves sagittate, Colocasia leaves ovate, cordate
2. X leaf surface not waxy.  C. waxy
3. X intramarginal vein clear. C. not clear
4. X. rhizome many. C. rhizome only one.


Alocasia macrorrhizos confirmation : 5 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (6)

Please confirm this Araceae member
To me looks Alocasia macrorrhizos
Found near Water stream
At Hamirpur, HP
Dated – 28 October 2017

To me also appear close to images at Alocasia macrorrhizos (L.) G.Don  as per comparative images at Alocasia

This is Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott   


030212 BRS 304:

Pl. find the attached file contain photos for id. request.
Date: 02.02.2012
Location: Mangarai, Coimbatore
Habitat: Rurual, Road side.

Habit: Shrub

Looks like one of the Colocasia species.

To me, it is Xanthosoma sagittifolium ( L. ) Schott

Pl also check it for Alocasia macrorrhizos.

The leaves of Alocasia macrorrhizos are not peltate. The leaves are also so strong not weak like those in the picture.

This is clearly Xanthosoma saggitifolium. I would like to know if the inflorescences are able to develop fruit and seeds in your area. Also, is it known when this plant reached your area?
In the Philippines, we have not seen fruit or seeds, despite a great abundance of this plant in an apparently naturalised state.


030212 BRS 304: Most plants that I saw didn’t have any inflorescence, and I have never seen the fruits. Many plants can be seen along the small rivers and mountain slope. Everyday, some people carrying the leaves from the foot of Mt Slamet, may be for fish. I have no information about when it reached Java Indonesia

There is some evidence that Xanthosoma reached at least Malaysia in the 17th C, almost certainly as stored tubers on Portuguese boats.



Araceae, Arecaceae and Zingiberaceae Fortnight: Araceae- Colocasia/Alocasia sp. for ID from Jim Corbett-GSAUG34 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2).
Another Alocasia/Colocasia from Jim Corbett area Uttarakhand,

leaves larger like Alocasia macrorrhizos but appear thinner.

In my opinion, this is Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott


Hooghly – Alocasia indica Schott : Attachments (7). 7 posts by 4 authors.

complete set of pics

It was the first time that i noticed its flower, though this is a common species here.

In light of the recent discussion with Pudji Ji in a thread it appears to me now that this plant may be Xanthosoma, cf. X. sagittifolium (L.) Schott.
Illustrations and description can be found in Curtis’s –
I think leaves and spadix perfectly matches with the above description and illustration, except the ovaries which the magazine describes are of green colour.

There is book with a few words on Xanthosoma in India – link



Hooghly-sept-sk04 : please identify this Araceae : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (8).
This is wild, commonly grows beside ponds, even sometimes besides rural drainage.

Till now I have seen them growing up to more or less 5 ft high. Petioles are about 4 ft. Of a few individual I have examined all grows corm horizontally.

These photographs were taken an hour ago (7-Sept-2014).

It is Alocasia indica Schott ?

Don’t know …, the leaves of same species has been identified as Xanthosoma sp. in another thread

It is X. sagittifolium (L.) Schott (unless expert(s) identify it as Xanthosoma robustum Schott)

Araceae fortninght p.s. : Alocasia indica Schott : 4 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3).
My colleague … says it is MAN-GIRI or GIRI-MAN. He took a young plant for me and informed it was also not cultivated. According to his version this one also grows as big as the usual wild var we see around. The leaves are eaten as vegetables in the neighbourhood.

Please note that according to Roxburgh MAN-GIRI has darker coloured petiole, which I do not see in this young member

may be its my chini-maan kochu? local vendors may have been mis-pronouncing it? changing giri-man to chini-man?

Another of my colleagues claims he has seen Alocasia with purplish or darker petiole. Unless I myself see and photograph those I am not sure. All Alocasia I have seen, be it young or old plant, bears shiny/polished leaves, except the one in this thread where leaves are rather like Colocasia. But, it is not Colocasia as leaves are not peltate.

So, I need to investigate more! ….. Waiting for brighter days and some respite from duties!

I could manage time to visit a kitchen garden. … was with me and he confirmed it was the same plant young leaves of which are eaten. This is about the same size of the common non-edible Alocasia we see around. The main difference is leaves of this variety are not polished

This is also X. sagittifolium (L.) Schott unless expert(s) identify it as Xanthosoma robustum Schott.


Alocasia and Xanthosoma : a query : 7 posts by 2 authors.

In a recent thread I and … have initiated a discussion on a certain aroid member. This is the first time I come across the genus Xanthosoma. I searched for the genus in FI, FBI, BP, BoB&O, even I tried with synonyms of Xanthosoma sagittifolium, but to no avail. Searched the internet, again couldn’t find much info. Specially regarding the species distribution of Xanthosoma in our country, India.
In fact very little documents can be found on Xanthosoma related to India. One doc., related to antioxidants in X. sagittifolium, informs that the authors collected the specimen from Western Ghats. EFI has two, one from Coimbatore and the other from Uttarakhand. Bangladesh also reports presence of Xanthosoma spp.
An old, yet interesting document on Alocasia macrrorhiza and other species can be found at – pdf which informs the author did receive Xanthosoma material from Calcutta. It is further more interesting that FoC or FoP or even FoNA doesn’t feature Xanthosoma.
Morphological difference, based on leaf characters, between Alocasia and Xanthosoma can be found in a few website. But those authors themselves are not very sure about the differences they have recorded there!
Yet, I think we might have some Xanthosoma hidden in the posts submitted to eFI, recently or in past.
Many thanks to … for drawing my attention to a new line of thought.
In this pretext I would request members+moderators to please provide species list of Xanthosoma found in India and their identifying characters

In continuation with the discussion in the other thread, with Pudji Ji, I would request to draw attention to few posts, first the cases I have submitted so far. It is to be noted that the identities of Alocasia indica Schott and A. macrorrhiza Schott (of BP or BoBO) are not clear to me. I take those are synonymous.

I think my posts efi thread and efi thread 2 are Alocasia.
Another one that I have recorded recently in efi thread may be Xanthosoma.

I request all to record your views.

This is what I know as Alocasia fornicata (Roxb.) Schott. I think the plant features satisfy FI, FBI, BP, BoBO and Wight illustration T.792.

Since this plant, photographed today, is growing on a wall it is rather a small one and the stock is visible. In all previous cases I have never seen the stock above the ground level. Of-course they do not get a free hand to grow undisturbed though no part of this Alocasia is edible.
My next post will be another Alocasia.
Attachments (5)

This is what I know as Alocasia indica Schott. Again I have never seen stock growing above the ground, for they are often cut and used for several purpose.

Attachments (5)

Now, this is the third plant. What would be its identity?

The third plant in this thread is definitely Xanthosoma species, possibly Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott. Attached here detail photographs of its flower.

In this set of photographs I have marked two plates. Please correct me if I am wrong. The last plate features leaves of A. fornicata (top-left), C. esculenta (top-right) and the plant in question, Xanthosoma (bottom).

Again I thank … for his immense help, but his points regarding the difference between Alocasia, Colocasia and Xanthosoma, in the following threads, are still unclear to me –

I would appreciate it very much if … as well as moderators and members offer their views regarding this.

Leaves sagittate or not is not at all important, caudex also is less important to identify a Alocasia or Xanthosoma. It takes a detail of spadix to identify any Alocasia or Xanthosoma species. Otherwise the identification is bound to be wrong very often than not!
Since the spadix of this species doesn’t have any appendix this is not Alocasia. But which Xanthosoma is it? Our group has expert(s) on Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott …. who can identify the species merely by leaves! Ironically he/they is/are silent on this thread. The silence may mean that it is not X. s. …. or two more options I don’t like to write here.
Unfortunately I do not have description of Xanthosoma robustum Schott, except HEAR, where no detail of spadix can be found. While the TPL and GRIN recognize Xanthosoma robustum Schott as an accepted name the PIER and SMITHSONIAN, unlike TPL, think it is the accepted name of X. roseum Schott.
  1. X. sagittifolium (L.) Schott = Caudex arborescence; foliorum petiolus usque 1m., lamina 4-5 dm longa …… ovaria ovoidea, albida, stigmate flavo coronata……
  2. X. mafaffa Schott = Caudex abbreviatus; …. ovaria ovoidea annulo stylino violaceo atque stigmate aureo 3-4 lobo instructa…..
  3. X. violaceum Schott = Caudex abbreviatus; ….
  4. X. atrovirens C.Koch et Bouché = Caudex abbreviatus; ….feminea cylindroidea quam mascula 3.5 plo breviore lutea, mascula sterili pallide rosea….
All the above are synonyms of X. sagittifolium (L.) Schott, where the ovaries can be whitish, yellowish or even golden (against green in Curtis’s) and sterile stamens can be pale pink!

So, finally it is X. sagittifolium (L.) Schott unless expert(s) identify it as Xanthosoma robustum Schott

At least two species were reported from West Bengal as per paper found in the net – 1) X. sagittifolium (L.) Schott and 2) X. maximiliani Schott. The later has identified by ” spathae tubus intus purpureo-sanguineus, lamina extus sanguinea” (vide Flora Brasiliensis).

It is to be noted that leaves of X. s. are tasty vegetable (vide Curtis’s, Engler).

AAZ Fortnight :: Araceae :: SMP7 :: Colocasia esculanta : Attachments (1). 6 posts by 6 authors.

Colocasia esculanta with coloured petiole. वडीचे आळू

This does not look like Taro [Colocasia esculenta] to me. Please check this link :

Google Groups

Please check for Colocasia fontanesii, Colocasia esculenta ‘Fontanesii’.

I agree with …, not Colcasia.

Not Colocasia? Then what can it be?

As far as I know. To me it is not Colocasia esculenta it is Xanthosoma sagittifolia synonym X. violacea. To make sure, please see the rhizome: one or many. If many, then it is Xanthosoma.

I agree with …, it is very likely to be Xanthosoma (as I have learned from him), but still fail to understand the point “please see the rhizome: one or many. If many, then it is Xanthosoma.”

If this is (site: FAO) what … means it may mislead – Bishop Museam

Thank you very much. Your picture (C. esculenta var esculenta) is very important for me, because I ‘ve never seen taro like that. We have so many cultivars of C. esculenta but all are with only one rhizome, never branched. From the rhizome it will grow stolon not rhizome branches. Thank you.

The cultivars here produce corm, daughter corms and cormels on a single plant, else it won’t be economically viable. They grow like those of potato. The attached pic may help, not all from single plant, neither each one from a single individual.


FRT 6 A 6B 19/11/14 : 5 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (2)
Please ID this tuberous edible root, it has pinkish/purple layer under the skin. It is not manioc, probably a yam, dioscorea!! or an aroid. Photo was taken in Sri Lanka in Mar 2012.

It seems tubers of Colocasia esculenta

yes it is Colacasia esculenta

To me, it is Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott.  See the following picture for comparison.

Thank you for the ID

Alocasia sp. from Assam KD 09 Dec : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (10)
Attached images are Alocasia sp.
Please ID the plant
Date :13.12.14 & 17.12.2014
Location: Assam Family : Araceae
Genus & species : Alocasia sp.
Habitat: Grows wild on waste places

Habit : Herb

Possibly Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott

Xanthosoma sagittifolium


Requesting to please ID this ornamental captured at a garden in Thane in Mar 2015.

Xanthosoma sagittifolium

a food plant Araceae. source of figure:from my favorite folks: at FAO…url:


ID KANNUR 41 – 2 4 posts by 1 author. Attachments (1). Please identify this Araceae member from riparian area of kannur district of Kerala.

Pl. check with comparative images at Alocasia

Although slightly peltate, to me it is still Xanthosoma sagittifolium.

Xanthosoma violaceum Schott from Assam 01KD Sept’ 2018 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (7)
Attached images are Xanthosoma violaceum Schott Syn name of Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott from my residence.
Date :11.09.2018
Location: Assam

Family : Araceae
Genus & species : Xanthosoma violaceum Schott
Habitat: Cultivated in my residence
Habit : Herb
Flower : Flower seen after about 23 years. (Flower is rare)

Thanks a lot.  I agree with the name you mentioned.


Alocasia macrorrhiza ? : 8 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)
Kumily (Periyar) Kerala 900m. January 2019.
Alocasia macrorrhiza syn. A.macrorrhizos
Thank you for confirm ID.

Pl. check with images and details at


I send you our picture of Alocasia macrorrhizos for comparison. The leaves of yours are peltate, our leaves are not.

2 images.

You mean to say that … images are not of Alocasia macrorrhizos (L.) G.Don ?

As far as I understand, If the tuber is not edible (contains too high oxalate crystal) then it is Alocasia macrorrhizos.  If it is edible then it is Xanthosoma sagittifolium.

Yes i agree with … This is Xanthosoma sagittifolium. In Alocasia macrorrhizos leaves are much stiff and straight as seen in Pudji ji images.


Plant for ID – Ernakulam, Kerala – 16th Jan
5 images.
Plant was photographed in the backyard of our house. It’s called Kandichembu in Malayalam. The tubers are cooked and eaten.
But I am not able to figure out the botanical name. Please help. The plant is about 2-3 feet tall with broad, large leaves.

Colocasia esculenta I hope

I agree with … ID.  In Kannada it is known as Kesavinadantu, widely used for various culinary preparations in Dakshina Kannada & Coastal areas.

Thank you, … These ones with smaller leaves are Colocasia esculenta for sure. But the ones I have posted earlier have much larger leaves, about 3-4 times larger than these.
Is it possible that they are Alocasia macrorrhizos or Xanthosoma sagittifolium?
And in Malayalam, the smaller-leaved one is called ‘Cheruchembu’ and the larger-leaved one is called ‘Kandichembu’. So I am assuming they have different botanical names.
I also read that if the petiole attached to the tip of the midvein, it is most likely to be Alocasia; and if the petiole attaches further down on the leaf, it’s most likely Colocasia. Just read it in a website, not authentic information.
Many thanks for all the input.

2 images of  Colocasia esculenta

I think inflorescence or tubers may help in id. I think it may be Alocasia macrorrhizos or Xanthosoma sagittifolium

I send you my pictures.  It may be able to help.

Thank you, …

After some more research, I have come to the conclusion that it is either Colocasia spp. or Xanthosoma sagittifolium.
It is unlikely to be Alocasia spp. since Alocasia leaves mostly point upwards.

These plants did not have flowers. Once they flower, I will take pictures and add them to this thread.

Based on … comparative images, I feel it may be Xanthosoma sagittifolium

Yes, I agree. I send you my Xanthosoma sagittifolium. I have some variations in our areas.

1 image.

Attachments (3).
This was shot from Arya College campus Panipat
Is this some Alocasia ??

If I am not mistaken, this is Xanthosoma because the surface of the sheath and petiole are covered with powdery secretion.

I am sorry, leaf shape sagittate, petiole slender, dark green, covered with white powder, have lead me to conclude that this is Xanthosoma.  

I think Xanthosoma sagittifolium as per images and details herein.

Attached images may be Colocasia esculenta  (L.) Schott (??). The plant has been growing in my residence for many years. But flowering not seen. Please validate.  
Date :11.08.2014
Location: At my residence (Guwahati)
Family : Araceae
Genus& species : Colocasia esculenta  (L.) Schott (??).
Habitat: Grows on damp places of hilly area
Habit : Herb, Leaf margin purple, petiole bluish in colour   
Flower :Flowering not seen

efi page on Colocasia esculenta

Looks like Colocasia esculenta ‘Fontanesii’ to me.

Since leaves are not peltate, I think this should be Alocasia. Please see the entry in Haines.

To me, the presence of intramarginal vein indicates Xanthosoma. I am happy if the name is Xanthosoma violaceum (the violet one).  But this is regarded as the synonym of Xanthosoma sagittifiolium (the green one). Correct me if I am wrong.

efi page on Xanthosoma sagittifolium 

I couldn’t understand “intramarginal vein“. Would you please tell me if the attached picture qualifies for Xanthosoma? Attachments (1).

attached herewith closer view. Attachments (1).

An intramarginal veins is a vein parallel to the leaf margin. So, I think your leaf is not included in Colocasia. Another reason is that your leaf surface is shiny
Attachments (1)

Differences between Xanthosoma & Colocasia:

1. Xanthosoma leaves sagittateColocasia leaves ovate, cordate
2. X leaf surface not waxy.  C. waxy
3. X intramarginal vein clear. C. not clear
4. X. rhizome manyC. rhizome only one
Attachments (2)

I thank you very much. The difference between Xanthosoma and Colocasia would help a lot, indeed. Though, in comparison to your point no.1, FoCFoPFoNA inform Leaves of Colocasia is ovate to ovate-cordate to sagittate-cordate!
But, that’s not a big deal! Last month I have written a number of times, in various thread, that leaves of Colocasia are peltate! I think this should be the first point to remove Colocasia in this scenario and I have already written that in this very thread!
So, my query was difference between Xanthosoma and Alocasia.

As I wrote in my earlier mail, sent you minutes ago, the question is not if it can be Colocasia. The question is – why it can’t be Alocasia?

The leaves of both Xanthosoma & Colocasia are also peltate if they are looked based on the the position of the petiole.  But from above it can be sagittate, ovate etc.

It is not Alocasia because the later has stem which can be so long.  Not only inside the ground. The leaves contain a lot of oxallate crystal.  It is only used for feeding gouramy fish (Osphronemus gouramy).
Correct me if I am wrong.

Alocasia is edible, though not all the species or all var., and not throughout anytime of the year. Usually the stocks and/or leaves with petioles are collected after the monsoon and are sold in the market. Some people do not eat it while it is favourite to other people. Since leaves are collected from time to time the wild Alocasia plant do not get much time to grow uninterrupted. My colleagues who eat Alocasia inform me that the stocks do grow 5-6 ft above the ground when they are cultivated in certain region and left in the field for more than a year. In all cases leaves of these plant are shiny/polished. Non-peltate leaves with polished/shiny upper-surface tell me that those are Alocasia, neither Colocasia nor Xanthosoma.
… plant may be Xanthosoma as you have suggested, but I do not know, for I do not have any literature and Xanthosoma is new to me as I have written that in another thread – efi thread.
Let’s move to the other thread to avoid any confusion.

I would like to go for Xanthosoma sagittifolium

Yes, Sir, I agree with … id determination.

Maybe one reason for not flowering is that the place is relatively dry ?
Here they grow (or perhaps were planted by our forebearers) around ponds or DOBA (unmaintained waterbody, smaller than pond). In this summer season they are the size of a Colocasia esculenta, but during and after the rainy season they are gigantic in comparison to Colocasia.
Xanthosoma sagittifolium is an enduring plant (Colocasia too), once someone places a rhizome in the ground (or even on a wet surface) it will grow years after years, even if you cut aerial parts regularly  Only leaves and petioles are eaten here.


References: The Plant List  GRIN  Wikipedia  Missouri Botanical Garden  FAO  Top tropicals

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