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Are all cultivars of Colocasia esculenta (taro) edible?

 
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I understand that Hawaiians bred hundreds of varieties of edible taro before western crops took over as mainstays on their farms. Does anyone know if the Colocasia esculenta varieties sold in the ornamental trade are of the same food value? Do some taste better than others?

As an example, here is an extensive list of Colocasia esculenta cultivars that grow in my hardiness zone. I'd like to pick one that won't overly bully its neighbors and figured a purple or variegated variety would have enough reduced vigor to make that possible:

http://www.plantdelights.com/searchprods.asp

If anyone has suggestions on how to pick a variety or opinions on their overall edibility I'd greatly appreciate it.
 
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I would love to know this myself. I have an un-named variety of Colocasia esculenta but have not yet tried to eat it.
 
Eliza Lord
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I think I'm going to go with Colocasia 'Elepaio' which is the first one on that list. Since the catalog description said it was an old Hawaiian variety I looked it up and found it is edible and supposed to make good poi. One person says it was historically only grown by the Hawaiian royal family.

I'd still love to know if anyone has experience with eating other ornamental C. esculenta. Also, anyone know if red/purple varieties are commonly eaten?
 
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Location: Davie, Fl
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I am also curious about this. Bumping the post back to the light
 
                        
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii
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Ornamental taro is Edible - if you are extra hungry. At least the leaf will be, although it will take a long long time to cook. Most "ornamental" taro I have seen doesn't produce a corm of significant size.

I'm growing a dozen or more varieties. Mostly traditional Hawaiian varieties, although I did just plant out a bunch of bun-long (Chinese taro) and a new hybrid variety. Three varieties (don't know the names) I grow haven't produced any corm in two years - all three are "running" - ie they spread quickly. Which is cool because they hold their own against grasses and weeds. I use these ones for the leaf - known as "lu'au". Cooked as a spinach. The ornamental "black magic" vareity has never produced corm in 5 years of growing, and I've never bothered to eat the leaf - it's for looking at, and is a really striking plant.

Point being, try to find a known edible variety. Taro is ornamental in it's own right.
 
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I have many Taro questions. Rather than starting a new thread I'm reopening this. I am sure many people have Taro questions, if only we could find a traditional expert...

Here's a rant worthy of Mollison himself.




 
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Bump... same question.. I wanna grow taro for the root.  I love the large root of taro baked with canned coconut milk, onions, and some salt. Sooo yum.. I can't find the large root in Alabama. Only the small ones. The large ones you could find in any Asian store on the West Coast.
 
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Have been getting great information on growing colocasia esculenta (different varieties) also the American equivalent Xanthosoma Sagittifolium on a Youtube channel called,  Compostapr.
It is in Spanish but the guy is really very knowledgeable! The variety "Elena" has lilac flesh and is very edible 😋.  That is available at Wellspring Gardens. Also the regular green leaf with the white flesh tuber.

Taro does not make separate corms like the Xanthosoma. One must remove all young suckers or the plant will not grow a sizeable one to eat.
There is a variety of colocasia that the tuber is called eddo in some of the English speaking Caribbean Islands. This one does produce runners with small (tennis ball size) tubers. Those can be found in many Asian or Puertorican produce markets as well.  Hope this helps.
 
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I'm interested to trade/buy several varieties of edible taro or similar species. If anyone is willing to trade/sell off some of their best edible types please hit me up! Interested in ones with big corms, edible stems, and edible leaves. Especially those of good edibility that are also more ornamental than just the green leaved types. Thanks for any help!
 
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