Giant Swamp Taro (Cyrtosperma merkusii)

Botanical names:
Cyrtosperma merkusii Accepted
Cyrtosperma ferox Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: In Water
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 11 +4.4 °C (40 °F) to +7.2 °C (50 °F)
Plant Height: 12 to 15 feet (3.7-4.6m)
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Other: Red-orange when ripe.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Purple
Bloom Size: 6"-12"
Over 12"
Flower Time: Other: Seasonal, can bloom at any time of year.
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Uses: Water gardens
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Other: All parts of plant contain calcium oxalate crystals, an irritant to the mouth and esophagus. Toxic to cats and dogs.
Propagation: Seeds: Other info: Remove seeds from berry which contains chemicals that inhibit germination.
Propagation: Other methods: Offsets
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth


Photo gallery:

Posted by eclayne (Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA - Zone 6a) on Feb 16, 2015 12:30 PM

Due to its long having been cultivated as a food crop, C. merkusii is the most widespread and variable species in the genus. These cultivated forms have been found growing to nearly 20 feet tall and often lack spines. Wild forms are usually much shorter (3 to 4 feet) and are armored. Typical habitat is freshwater marshes and swamps and at the edges of lakes and rivers.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Cyrtosperma merkusii by tropicbreeze Jun 23, 2012 6:14 PM 10
Cyrtosperma by tropicbreeze Nov 29, 2011 6:51 AM 22

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