Big Leaves!

(page 3)

I plan to keep the small plants growing indoors during the winter. The other mature plants which I think are large enough will be lifted from the garden in October and stored in the manner prescribed in 1871 by William Robinson, in his book, The Subtropical Garden:

"At the approach of frosty weather, all leaves, or all but the central one, should be cut down to within an inch or two from the crown, and a few days afterwards the tuber should be taken up, and left on the ground for a few hours to dry; they should then be stored on the shelves of a greenhouse, or in a cellar, or other place where they will be sheltered from frost and moisture. By placing in a hotbed in March, plants may be obtained with well grown leaves for planting out in the open air about the end of May/beginning of June."

Colocasia antiquorum is commonly misnamed Colocasia esculenta. The real C. antiquorum, the 'Egyptian Taro' is the smallest leaved form and is actually from India.

The next Colocasia is a stove plant of gigantic size. It grows leaves in excess of a metre, on 'trunks' rather than stems, about 60cm long, and should be placed in full sun in a very sheltered spot and not put outdoors until June. It is known variously as Colocasia gigantea, Colocasia indica or Colocasia (alocasia) odora.

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