|Photo taken at the University of Illinois Arboretum|
I've often wondered what the differences were between Alocasia, Colocasia, and Xanthosoma. After many long discussions with friends and other gardeners, I finally had to do the research. It's a topic that has been covered on other sites well (and I've included the sources I've used below). The thing that is missing from all of the websites is displaying the side-by-side differences. They are fairly minor visual differences, but it is differences like these that make it easy to successfully grow these plants over and over again. Just a note that the plants don't have to follow these guidelines, so keep in mind there is variability.
The features to focus on are the direction of the leaf and the attachment point of the petiole to the leaf. Beyond that, according to walterreeves.com the definitive way to tell the difference is in the flower morphology or DNA.
|WATER||moist but |
|high moisture||high moisture|
|LEAF TIP |
|upward to horizontal||downward||downward|
|at leaf notch||below leaf notch||at leaf notch|
|LEAF SHAPE||heart |
*Illustrations Copyright © 2011 Laura Hayden
The Big Ears - Spotlight on Colocasia and Xanthosoma, LariAnn Garner
Colocasia vs Alocasia vs Xanthosoma, Walter Reeves, walterreeves.com
National Tropical Botanic Garden