Arrowleaf Elephant Ear
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Arrowleaf Elephant Ear
P Introduced Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Arrowleaf Elephant Ear, Elephant ear, Tannia
Botanical name: Xanthosoma sagittifolium    Family: Araceae (Arum family)
Synonyms: Arum sagittifolium, Caladium sagittifolium, Alocasia talihan

Arrowleaf Elephant Ear is a stout, perennial herb yp to 2 m tall with a thickened, tuberous, underground stem and numerous smaller tuberous offshoots. The plant spreads by slender rhizomes; exudes milky, watery sap when cut. Leaves arise from tip of central corm, and have sheathing, overlapping bases. Leaf-stalks are up to 1.5 m long, fleshy, round near leaf blade, lower leaf-stalk channeled, attached to leaf blade between the 2 lobes at leaf margin; leaf blades up to 1 m long and 1 m across, arrowhead shaped to broadly heart shaped, hairless, light green with a waxy, powdery covering, widely angled to a broad point at tip, deeply 2-lobed at base; veins prominent. Flowers are borne on a fleshy stalk shorter than leaf leaf-stalks; upper part of stalk bearing tiny, densely packed, cream-colored flowers, male above, female below; spadix surrounded by a large, greenish white, boat-shaped spathe with rolled margins. Fruit is a small, yellow berry. Arrowleaf Elephant Ear is found in many parts of the world, and is cultivated for its edible tubers or as a garden plant.

Identification credit: Pudgi Widodo Photographed in Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh.

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