Deceptive Taro
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Deceptive Taro
P Native Photo: Thingnam Rajshree
Common name: Deceptive Taro, Tibetan Taro, Dwarf Elephant Ear • Manipuri: ꯄꯥꯟꯈꯣꯛꯂꯥ Pankhokla, ꯄꯥꯡꯈꯣꯛꯂꯥ Pangkhokla
Botanical name: Colocasia fallax    Family: Araceae (Arum family)
Synonyms: Colocasia kerrii, Colocasia tibetensis, Colocasia yunnanensis

Deceptive Taro is a perennial herb, deceptively looking like Taro. Rhizome is erect, up to 7 × 1-1.5 cm; runners 5-60 cm x up to 6 mm. Leaves are 3-8; leaf-stalk green, sometimes with transverse purple lines, cylindric, 12-68 cm, sheathing for almost 1/2 length; leaf blade paler or slightly glaucous below, green or with dark purple patches between primary veins above, heart-shaped-peltate, ovate-heart-shaped, or narrowly oblong-ovate, 8-36 x 3.3-29 cm, membranous, tip apiculate. Primary lateral veins are 5-7. Inflorescences are 1-5 together; flower-cluster-stalk green, cylindric, 4-23 cm, slender. Spathe is constricted or not between tube and limb; limb at anthesis orange-yellow, 5-11.2 x 2.7-4.8 cm, tip long tapering. Spadix is stalkless, up to 6.5 cm, shorter than spathe. Berry ripens to yellow, ovoid, about 2 mm. Deceptive Taro is found in dense forests, humid forest margins, moist mossy rock faces in forests, valley scrub, moist shaded places along streams, at altitudes of 700-1400 m, in China, N Bangladesh, Bhutan, NE India, Nepal, Thailand. Flowering: March-September.

Identification credit: Huirem Bhabini Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.

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