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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Alismatales

Familia: Araceae
Subfamilia: Aroideae
Tribus: Caladieae
Genus: Xanthosoma
Species: X. acevedoi – X. acutilobum – X. acutum – X. akkermansii – X. alpayacuense – X. alversonii – X. amacayacuense – X. anderssonii – X. aristeguietae – X. asplundii – X. auriculatum – X. australe – X. baguense – X. bakhuisense – X. barbacoasense – X. barbourii – X. barinasense – X. bayo – X. belophyllum – X. berlinii – X. betancurii – X. bilineatum – X. bolivaranum – X. brasiliense – X. brevispathaceum – X. buntingianum – X. caladioides – X. calcaense – X. callejasii – X. camposii – X. caquetense – X. caracu – X. caucavallense – X. caulotuberculatum – X. ceronii – X. cerrosapense – X. chaparense – X. cinchonaense – X. conspurcatum – X. contractum – X. cordatum – X. cordifolium – X. corentynense – X. crassilaminum – X. crassinervium – X. cremersii – X. cubense – X. cundinamarcense – X. daguense – X. danielsii – X. daulense – X. davidsmithii – X. davidsonii – X. dealbatum – X. debelliae – X. delannayi – X. diazii – X. dodsonii – X. eggersii – X. epipetricum – X. exiguum – X. flavomaculatum – X. fonnegrae – X. foreroi – X. fractum – X. fuentesii – X. galianoi – X. gillespieae – X. giraldoi – X. gonzalezii – X. granvillei – X. grayumii – X. guaramacalense – X. guttatum – X. hammelii – X. hannoniae – X. harlingianum – X. hebetatum – X. helleborifolium – X. herrerae – X. huilense – X. hylaeae – X. jaramilloi – X. jatunsachense – X. jorgeramosii – X. killipii – X. knappiae – X. kressii – X. kvistii – X. lagunaense – X. laselvaense – X. latestigmatum – X. liesneri – X. linganii – X. lojaense – X. lojtnantii – X. longepedunculum – X. longilobum – X. lucens – X. luteynii – X. macarenense – X. mafaffoides – X. mansellii – X. mariae – X. mariquitense – X. maroae – X. mashpiense – X. maximiliani – X. mendozae – X. mexicanum – X. monteagudoi – X. muluwataya – X. munchiquense – X. mutataense – X. nambiense – X. nangaritzense – X. narinoense – X. nestorpazii – X. nitidum – X. nodosum – X. nowickii – X. nunezii – X. obtusilobum – X. ollgaardii – X. orinocense – X. ortizii – X. oyuelae – X. pailaense – X. palaciosii – X. palenquense – X. panguiense – X. paradoxum – X. pariense – X. paruimaense – X. pedatisectum – X. peltatum – X. pennellii – X. pentaphyllum – X. petaquillense – X. petersiae – X. piquambiense – X. platylobum – X. plowmanii – X. poecile – X. poeppigii – X. pottii – X. puberulum – X. pubescens – X. pulcachense – X. pulchrum – X. purpureomaculatum – X. reinae – X. renteriae – X. reticulatum – X. riedelianum – X. riparium – X. robustum – X. rubrispathum – X. rupununiense – X. sagittifolium – X. saguasense – X. sandiaense – X. sanintiae – X. scherberichii – X. schunkei – X. seideliae – X. silverstonei – X. sinnamaryense – X. sizemoreae – X. stenospathum – X. stergiosii – X. striatipes – X. striolatum – X. syngoniifolium – X. tachiraense – X. taioba – X. tarapotense – X. thompsoniae – X. trichophyllum – X. trilobum – X. trinitense – X. tuberculatum – X. tuberquiae – X. ucumariense – X. ulei – X. undipes – X. vargasii – X. villaricense – X. viviparum – X. weeksii – X. wendlandii – X. wurdackii – X. yarumalense – X. yucatanense – X. zamoraense

Xanthosoma Schott, in H.W.Schott & S.L.Endlicher, Melet. Bot.: 19 (1832)

Type species: X. sagittifolium (L.) Schott in H.W.Schott & S.L.Endlicher, Melet. Bot.: 19 (1832)


Acontias Schott, Melet. Bot. (H.W.Schott & S.L.Endlicher) 19. (1832)
Cyrtospadix K.Koch, Index Seminum (B) 1853: 13. (1853)


Schott, H.W. 1832. Meletemata Botanica (H.W.Schott & S.L.Endlicher) 19.
Croat, T.B., Delannay, X. & Hannon, L.P. 2017. A Revision of Xanthosoma (Araceae). Part 1: Western South America. Aroideana; Journal of the International Aroid Society 40(2): 4-503. Reference page.
Croat, T.B., Delannay, X. & Ortiz, O.O. 2017. A Revision of Xanthosoma (Araceae). Part 2: Central America. Aroideana; Journal of the International Aroid Society 40(2): 504-581. PDF from ResearchGate Reference page.
Croat, T.B. & Delannay, X. 2017. A Revision of Xanthosoma (Araceae). Part 3: Guianas. Aroideana; Journal of the International Aroid Society 40(2): 582-648. Reference page.
Croat, T.B. & Delannay, X. 2017. A Revision of Xanthosoma (Araceae). Part 4: New species from Venezuela and other Caribbean countries. Aroideana; Journal of the International Aroid Society 40(2): 649-690. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2018. Xanthosoma in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Nov. 1. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2015. Xanthosoma. Published online. Accessed: Jan 19 2015. 2018. Xanthosoma. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Nov. 1.

Vernacular names
English: Yautia, Elephant's Ear
suomi: Kaakaotaarot
Nederlands: cocoyam, tajerknol
svenska: Tanniasläktet

Xanthosoma is a genus of flowering plants in the arum family, Araceae. The genus is native to tropical America but widely cultivated and naturalized in other tropical regions.[2] Several are grown for their starchy corms, an important food staple of tropical regions, known variously as malanga, otoy, otoe, cocoyam (or new cocoyam), tannia, tannier, yautía, macabo, ocumo, macal, taioba, dasheen, quequisque, ʻape and (in Papua New Guinea) as Singapore taro (taro kongkong). Many other species, including especially Xanthosoma roseum, are used as ornamental plants; in popular horticultural literature these species may be known as ‘ape due to resemblance to the true Polynesian ʻape, Alocasia macrorrhizos, or as elephant ear from visual resemblance of the leaf to an elephant's ear. Sometimes the latter name is also applied to members in the closely related genera Caladium, Colocasia (taro), and Alocasia.

The leaves of most Xanthosoma species are 40-200 cm long, sagittate (arrowhead-shaped) or subdivided into three or as many as 18 segments. Unlike the leaves of Colocasia, those of Xanthosoma are usually not peltate- the upper v-notch extends into the point of attachment of the leaf petiole to the blade.


The name is derived from the Greek words ξανθός (xanthos), meaning "yellow", and σῶμα (soma), meaning "body". It refers to the stigma or yellow inner tissues.[3]

The inflorescence in Xanthosoma is composed of a spadix with pistillate flowers at the base, a belt of sterile flowers offered as a reward for pollinators in the middle and staminate flowers on the upper part. Prior to opening, the inflorescence is enclosed within a leaf-like spathe. When the inflorescence is ready to open, the upper part of the spathe opens and exposes the staminate area of the spadix; the basal area of the spathe remains closed, forming a spacious chamber (i.e., the spathe tube) that encloses the pistillate and sterile flowers (Garcia-Robledo et al. (2004, 2005a, 2005b)).

The inflorescences last for two nights and are protogynous in some species (though not others (Valerio (1988)), changing from the pistillate phase that attracts pollinators on the night it opens, to a staminate phase on the second night, when pollen is shed. When the inflorescence opens, it produces heat and releases a sweet scent attracting its pollinators, dynastine beetles (Cyclocephala spp.). Dynastines arrive covered with pollen from another inflorescence and remain in the spathe tube for 24 hours, pollinating the pistillate flowers as they feed on the sterile area of the spadix. On the second night, they come out of the tube and walk over the staminate flowers, getting covered with pollen, and then flying to a recently opened inflorescence nearby. (Garcia-Robledo et al. (2004, 2005a, 2005b)). Fruit maturation takes several months. Fruits start to develop within the shelter of the spathe tube. When the infructescence is mature, in some species, it arches back and downwards. In other species, it stays erect. Then, the tissue of the spathe tube rolls outwards, exhibiting the bright orange fruits and the velvety pink inner spathe surface.[4][5][6][7]
Crop uses
Top Yautía (Cocoyam) Producers
(in metric tons) [8] Rank Country 2012 2013 2014
1 Cuba 153782 185922 269590
2 Venezuela 75132 84516 85607
3 El Salvador 43000 43000 41110
4 Peru 29200 30000 30960
5 Costa Rica 11692 23742 30000
6 Dominican Republic 32595 29104 28180
— World 378952 423415 508079
Worldwide yautía yield

Domestication of Xanthosoma species (especially X. sagittifolium but also X. atrovirens, X. violaceum, X. maffaffa, and others) is thought to have originated in northern lowland South America, then spread to the Antilles and Mesoamerica. Today, Xanthosoma is still grown in all those regions, but is especially popular in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, where it is used in alcapurrias or boiled. It is grown in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Jamaica to make the popular callaloo dish. It is also grown in West Africa, now a major producer, where it can be used as a replacement for yams in a popular regional dish called fufu. Xanthosoma is also grown as a crop in the Philippines.

Traditionally, Xanthosoma has been a subsistence crop with excess sold at local markets, but in the United States, large numbers of Latin American immigrants have created a market for commercial production. In general, production has yet to meet demand in some areas. In Polynesia, Alocasia macrorrhizos (‘ape) was considered a famine food, used only in the event of failure of the much preferred taro (kalo) crop.[9] After having been introduced to Hawaiʻi in the 1920s from S. America, "Xanthosoma" has naturalized and has become more common than A. macrorrhizos, and has adopted the same name, ʻape.

The typical Xanthosoma plant has a growing cycle of 9 to 11 months, during which time it produces a large stem called a corm, this surrounded by smaller edible cormels about the size of potatoes. These cormels (like the corm) are rich in starch. Their taste has been described as earthy and nutty, and they are a common ingredient in soups and stews. They may also be eaten grilled, fried, or puréed. The young, unfurled leaves of some varieties can be eaten as boiled leafy vegetables or used in soups and stews, such as the Caribbean callaloo.

Flour made from Xanthosoma species is hypoallergenic.[10]


Xanthosoma acutum E.G.Gonç. - French Guiana, Amapá State of Brazil
Xanthosoma akkermansii (G.S.Bunting) Croat - Amazonas + Barinas States of Venezuela
Xanthosoma aristeguietae (G.S.Bunting) Madison - Venezuela, northwestern Brazil
Xanthosoma auriculatum Regel - northwestern Brazil
Xanthosoma baguense Croat - northern Peru
Xanthosoma bayo G.S.Bunting - Venezuela
Xanthosoma belophyllum (Willd.) Kunth - Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas; naturalized in Dominican Republic
Xanthosoma bilineatum Rusby - Colombia
Xanthosoma bolivaranum G.S.Bunting - Venezuela
Xanthosoma brasiliense (Desf.) Engl. – Tahitian spinach - Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Trinidad & Tobago; naturalized in southern Brazil
Xanthosoma brevispathaceum Engl. - Peru
Xanthosoma caladioides Grayum - Panama
Xanthosoma caracu K.Koch & C.D.Bouché – yautia horqueta - Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic
Xanthosoma caulotuberculatum G.S.Bunting - Venezuela
Xanthosoma conspurcatum Schott - Venezuela, Suriname, French Guiana
Xanthosoma contractum G.S.Bunting - Bolívar State of Venezuela
Xanthosoma cordatum N.E.Br. - Guyana, French Guiana
Xanthosoma cordifolium N.E.Br. - Guyana
Xanthosoma cubense (Schott) Schott - Cuba
Xanthosoma daguense Engl. - Colombia, Ecuador
Xanthosoma dealbatum Grayum - Costa Rica
Xanthosoma eggersii Engl. - Ecuador
Xanthosoma exiguum G.S.Bunting - Amazonas State of Venezuela
Xanthosoma flavomaculatum Engl. - Colombia
Xanthosoma fractum Madison - Peru
Xanthosoma granvillei Croat & Thomps. - French Guiana
Xanthosoma guttatum Croat & D.C.Bay - Valle del Cauca in Colombia
Xanthosoma hebetatum Croat & D.C.Bay - Valle del Cauca in Colombia
Xanthosoma helleborifolium (Jacq.) Schott – belembe silvestre - from Costa Rica south to central Brazil; naturalized in West Indies
Xanthosoma herrerae Croat & P.Huang - Colombia
Xanthosoma hylaeae Engl. & K.Krause - Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, northwestern Brazil
Xanthosoma latestigmatum Bogner & E.G.Gonç. - Venezuela
Xanthosoma longilobum G.S.Bunting - Venezuela
Xanthosoma lucens E.G.Gonç - Rondônia
Xanthosoma mafaffoides G.S.Bunting - Amazonas State of Venezuela
Xanthosoma mariae Bogner & E.G.Gonç. - Peru
Xanthosoma maroae G.S.Bunting - Amazonas State of Venezuela
Xanthosoma maximiliani Schott - eastern Brazil
Xanthosoma mendozae Matuda - México State in central México
Xanthosoma mexicanum Liebm. - Chiapas, Oaxaca, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela
Xanthosoma narinoense Bogner & L.P.Hannon - Colombia
Xanthosoma nitidum G.S.Bunting - Venezuela
†Xanthosoma obtusilobum Engl. - Mexico, probably extinct
Xanthosoma orinocense G.S.Bunting - Amazonas State of Venezuela
Xanthosoma paradoxum (Bogner & Mayo) Bogner - Colombia
Xanthosoma pariense G.S.Bunting - Venezuela
Xanthosoma peltatum G.S.Bunting - Venezuela
Xanthosoma pentaphyllum (Schott) Engl. - Brazil
Xanthosoma platylobum (Schott) Engl. - Brazil
Xanthosoma plowmanii Bogner - Brazil
Xanthosoma poeppigii Schott - Peru, Bolivia, northwestern Argentina
Xanthosoma pottii E.G.Gonç. - Mato Grosso do Sul
Xanthosoma puberulum Croat - Bolivia
Xanthosoma pubescens Poepp. - Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, northwestern Brazil
Xanthosoma pulchrum E.G.Gonç. - Mato Grosso
Xanthosoma riedelianum (Schott) Schott - southeastern Brazil
Xanthosoma riparium E.G.Gonç. - Goiás
Xanthosoma robustum Schott – capote - Mexico, Central America; naturalized in Hawaii
Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott (Syn. Xanthosoma atrovirens K.Koch & C.D.Bouché, Xanthosoma violaceum Schott)- arrowleaf elephant ear, tiquizque, macal, nampi, malanga or American taro[11] - Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil; naturalized in West Indies, Africa, Bangladesh, Borneo, Malaysia, Christmas Island, Norfolk Island, some Pacific Islands, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Georgia,[12] Oaxaca[13]
Xanthosoma saguasense G.S.Bunting - Venezuela
Xanthosoma seideliae Croat - Bolivia
Xanthosoma stenospathum Madison - Peru
Xanthosoma striatipes (K.Koch & C.D.Bouché) Madison - Brazil, the Guianas, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Paraguay
Xanthosoma striolatum Mart. ex Schott - French Guiana, northern Brazil
Xanthosoma syngoniifolium Rusby - Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil
Xanthosoma taioba E.G.Gonç. - Paraíba
Xanthosoma tarapotense Engl. - Peru
Xanthosoma trichophyllum K.Krause - Peru, Ecuador
Xanthosoma trilobum G.S.Bunting - Amazonas State of Venezuela
Xanthosoma ulei Engl. - northwestern Brazil
Xanthosoma undipes (K.Koch) K.Koch – tall elephant's ear - widespread from Bolivia north to southern Mexico and West Indies
Xanthosoma viviparum Madison - Peru, Ecuador
Xanthosoma weeksii Madison - Ecuador
Xanthosoma wendlandii (Schott) Schott (syn. Xanthosoma hoffmannii Schott, Xanthosoma pedatum Hemsl.) Oaxaca, Central America, Venezuela
Xanthosoma yucatanense Engl. - Yucatán, Quintana Roo

Formerly placed in genus Xanthosoma

Caladium lindenii (André) Madison (as X. lindenii (André) Engl.)


"Genus: Xanthosoma Schott". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2003-07-09. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. Volume IV R-Z. Taylor & Francis US. p. 2849. ISBN 978-0-8493-2678-3.
Garcia-Robledo, Carlos; et al. (2004), "Beetle pollination and fruit predation in Xanthosoma daguense (Araceae)", Journal of Tropical Ecology, 20 (4): 459–469, doi:10.1017/S0266467404001610
Garcia-Robledo, Carlos; et al. (2005a), "Equal and opposite effects of floral offer and spatial distribution on fruit production and pre-dispersal seed predation in Xanthosoma daguense (Araceae)", Biotropica, 37 (3): 373–380, doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2005.00049.x
Garcia-Robledo, Carlos; et al. (2005b), "Geographic Variation and Succession of Arthropod Communities in Inflorescences and Infructescences of Xanthosoma (Araceae)", Biotropica, 37 (4): 650–656, doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2005.00082.x, S2CID 45182954
Valerio, C. E. (1988), "Notes on the phenology and pollination of Xanthosoma wendlandii (Araceae) in Costa Rica" (PDF), Rev. Biol. Trop., 36: 55–61
"Production of Yautia (Cocoyam) by countries". UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO). 2014. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
Abbott, Isabella Aiona. (1992). Lā'au Hawai'i : traditional Hawaiian uses of plants. [Honolulu, Hawaii]: Bishop Museum Press. p. 5. ISBN 0-930897-62-5. OCLC 26509190.
Vaneker, K. The Pomtajer. Page 216 In: Friedland, S. R., Ed. Vegetables: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cooking 2008: Volume 26 of Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. Oxford Symposium, 2009.
Lim, T. K. (2015). "Xanthosoma sagittifolium". Edible Medicinal and non Medicinal Plants. pp. 498–509. doi:10.1007/978-94-017-9511-1_15. ISBN 978-94-017-9510-4.
Biota of North America Program, 2013 county distribution map
García-Mendoza, A. J. & J. Meave del Castillo. 2011. Divers. Florist. Oaxaca 1–351. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria

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