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Tsurunoko

Tsurunoko
Other Names: Araimo

General Characteristics: Short, spreading, moderately stocky, often maturing within 6 months, producing as many as 40 oha, mostly dormant; distinguished by light green petioles and divergent petiole sinus.

Petiole: 55 to 80 cm. long, light green with slight light brown flecking near base, white to greenish-white at base, reddish-purple at apex, with inconspicuous reddish edge; sinus widely divergent.

Leaf blade: 35 to 50 cm. long, 25 to 40 cm. wide, 30 to 45 cm. from tip to base of sinus, narrowly ovate, firm-chartaceous, light green with bluish cast; margins finely undulate, the marginal veins often purplish; piko yellowish to light purple; lobes obtuse to slightly acute with shallow, wide sinus.

Corm: Flesh white with yellowish fibers; skin white; cormels about 3 to 5 cm. in diameter.

Origin, and derivation of name: Probably native of Japan; Tsurunoko refers to the prolific production of oha.

Distribution: Most important Japanese variety in Hawaii, grown throughout the islands, almost exclusively under upland culture by Japanese gardeners, usually under irrigation alongside other vegetable crops.

Use: Mainly as table taro; to a certain extent for taro sprouts.

Remarks: Parent corms are discarded because of their pronounced acridity. The oha are much smaller than those of the other Japanese varieties and are the only ones which cause irritation. They are pared under water to prevent itching hands. If the cormels develop top growth, they become acrid and are discarded. The popularity of this variety is due primarily to the excellent keeping quality.