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Frances and Jeff Michaels
BOTANICAL NAME:Alocasia esculenta syn. Colocasia esculenta
COMMON NAMES: Tahitian Spinach; Celery Stem Taro
FAMILY: Araceae

Native to Indo-Malaysia and the Pacific, taro is widely grown throughout the tropics for its edible corms and stems. This particular taro was developed for its yield of edible leaves and stems rather than its roots. Taros are adapted to flooded environments and, like rice, can be grown in paddy culture. Under paddy they are grown in all soil types. They can also be grown in dry, upland areas if water is provided by irrigation or rainfall, mulching helps. Grown 'dry' the best results are obtained on deep, well-drained friable loams.

Food: the leaves and leaf stems are eaten as a cooked, green vegetable; the stems are widely used as a celery substitute in tropical areas. Taro should never be eaten raw. They provide protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium and vitamins A, B, and C. The leaves can be harvested all year round.

Recommended planting time: Plant any time that the soil is warm and rain is expected.
Planting depth: Plant the tuber a few cm below the soil surface.
Plant spacing: 60 - 90 cm apart.
Growing details: Taro is propagated vegetatively, by the leaf-bearing tops of mature corms or by small side shoots or suckers. Tahitian Spinach is prone to producing heaps of small bulbils that, if disturbed, can spread rapidly. It tends to be hard to clear out of an area because of the sheer numbers of these small bulbils. So it is best planted off in a corner, where it can be left undisturbed.

Taro 'Chinese' is another type of Taro used for its roots (tubers).

SORRY but due to quarantine restrictions between Australian States no plants at all can be ordered by residents of Norfolk Island, Tasmania and Western Australia. These restrictions are very important as they prevent the spread of plant pests and diseases. No potatoes, garlic, shallots, strawberries or tubestock can be sent to South Australia. No tubestock can be sent to Northern Territory.
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