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a genus of plants of the family Araceae. They are perennial herbaceous plants with thickened tuberous rhizomes. The leaves are cordate or sagittate, large, and, as a rule, tuber-bearing. The inflorescence is a spadix, surrounded by a greenish white spathe. The fruit is a berry with many seeds. There are approximately eight species, distributed in South and Southeast Asia. Taro (Colocasia esculenta) is of dietary and fodder significance in many tropical and subtropical countries. This species, which was cultivated in antiquity, grows wild in the tropical forests of the Himalayas, Burma, New Guinea, and the Philippine Islands. Taro tubers, which weigh up to 4 kg, contain 18–20 percent starch, 0.5 percent sugars, and over 3 percent proteins.
REFERENCESZhukovskii, P. M. Kul’turnye rasteniia i ikh sorodichi, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1964.
Siniagin, I. I. Tropicheskoe zemledelie. Moscow, 1968.