East-Himalayan Decorated Taro
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East-Himalayan Decorated Taro
P Native Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: East-Himalayan Decorated Taro
Botanical name: Colocasia affinis    Family: Araceae (Arum family)
Synonyms: Colocasia bicolor, Colocasia affinis var. jenningsii, Alocasia jenningsii

East-Himalayan Decorated Taro is a perennial herb with decorative leaves. Leaves are 3-7; leaf-stalk light green or greenish white, cylindric, 20-45 cm. Leaf blade pale green below, green or light green above, with 4-6 pairs of large purple spots (lighter when growing in a very shady environment), peltate, ovate-heart-shaped, 16-21 x 13-16 cm, membranous; primary lateral veins in 3 or 4 pairs, marginal veins inprominent. Inflorescences are 1-3; flower-cluster-stalk pale green, cylindric, much shorter than leaf-stalks, 6.4-15 cm. Spathe constricted; tube convolute, green, almost cylindric, 1.3-2.7 x 0.6-1.8 cm; limb usually reflexed at anthesis, yellow, greenish white, or yellowish, oblong-lanceshaped, 4.2-7.8 x 1.6-3.3 cm. Spadix is stalkless, shorter than spathe. Young berries are green. East-Himalayan Decorated Taro is found in moist shaded places in forests and at forest margins, hillsides in limestone areas, at altitudes of 800-1400 m, in East Himalaya, from Nepal to NE India, N Bangladesh, N Myanmar and China. Flowering: June-August.

Identification credit: Pascal Bruggeman Photographed enroute to Darjeeling, West Bengal.

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