Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tanier spinach, Tahitian taro
Xanthosoma brasiliense

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Xanthosoma (zan-tho-SO-muh) (Info)
Species: brasiliense (bra-sill-ee-EN-see) (Info)

Synonym:Xanthosoma hastifolia

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Michaelp
Thumbnail #1 of Xanthosoma brasiliense by Michaelp

By Michaelp
Thumbnail #2 of Xanthosoma brasiliense by Michaelp


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Campfiredan On Oct 7, 2009, Campfiredan from Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Definitely on my list of best greens for Florida! It is low maintenance - I haven't had any insect or disease problems. And its texture is a lot nicer than many perennial summer greens. Grows best in moist rich soils. Along the edge of a compost pile (or on top of one) is good for me since I have sandy soil low in nutrients. It will grow pretty much wherever all those regular "elephant ears" grow but be sure to keep them separated since this one can be eaten while most of the decorative ones will cause a horrid throat itch or worse.

Positive Michaelp On Jan 2, 2007, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant is part of my edible landscaping, -this one "suposedly" does not have the calcium crystals that irritate the mouth and throat [making the others inedible before cooking] Only the youngest leaves still rolled up and emerging can be eaten raw, --this is a great cooked vegetable, and the leaves can be eaten with very little boiling time , if using as a cooked vegetable leaves of any age can be used, they are very good and I have experienced no mouth or throat irritation. The leaves can be used to wrap food for steaming ,or baking, but are a little tender so a tougher outer layer should be used, [foil ,Iliuaua Taro leaf, banana leaves, tumeric, or Ti leaves work well]. -- it is a little more prone to pest damage, so I spray it with a water hose to remove pests. [and--it has a good taste]
Taste Test for Tannier Spinach, [Xanthosoma brasiliense]
The leaves are easy to cook like Bunn Long, about 5 to 10 min in salty water is enough, the flavor is noticeable and quite good, the literature on this plant said it was edible raw, The young leaves before they unwrap, can be eaten raw in a salad,-but,- as soon as they start to un-wrap they will give you the "itch"[I have discovered] the root has never made any tubers of any size so I will say that they are not worth trying. [The other Xanthosoma's, White and Purple, Malanga, are great root crops and mine produced about 6 pounds /plant this year.]
The great advantage for Tannier spinach is that it will make leaves to eat all year and keep going unless frozen, this time of year [fall and winter] good Taro leaf is hard to find, --so this is a great plant for those who like the leaf for greens, and for wrapping food in for steaming--
Michael Porter


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Alachua, Florida
Homestead, Florida
Miami, Florida
Orange Springs, Florida

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