- n Xanthosoma tropical American tuberous perennials
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n xanthosoma A genus of monocotyledonous plants, of the order Araceæ, tribe Colocasioideæ, and subtribe Colocasieæ. It is characterized by coriaceous sasrittate or pedate leaves, by two- or three-celled ovaries separate below but dilated and united above, forming berries in fruit which are included within the spathe-tube, and by anatropous ovules with an inferior micropyle, mostly attached to the partitions. There are about 20 species, natives of tropical America. They are herbs with a milky juice, producing a tuberous rootstock or thick elongated caudex. They bear long thick petiolate leaves; the flower-stalks are usually short, often numerous, and produce a spathe with an oblong or ovoid convolute tube which bears a boat-shaped lamina and enlarges in fruit. The spadix is shorter and included; the fertile and densely flowered lower part is separated by a constriction from the elongated male section. X. atrovirens is known in the West Indies as kale, and X. peregrinum (perhaps the same as the last) as taya; for X. sagittifolium, see tannier.