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Kakakura-ula

Kakakura-ula
Other Names: Kakakura

General Characteristics: Medium in height to tall, moderately spreading, maturing within 9 to 12 months, producing very early from 6 to 12 short, thick rhizomes; distinguishable by brilliant reddish-purple coloration overlying light and dark green striping on petioles.

Petiole: 75 to 95 cm. long, dark and light green-striped with strong tinge of reddish-purple almost obscuring stripes, indistinctly edged, white at base, curved at apex so that blade hangs almost vertically.

Leaf blade: 45 to 60 cm. long, 30 to 35 cm. wide, 35 to 50 cm. from tip to base of sinus, sagittate, firm-chartaceous, dark green with bluish cast; veins reddish on lower surface; piko purple; lobes acute with shallow, wide sinus.

Corm: Flesh white with yellowish fibers; skin cream-colored to white.

Inflorescence: Peduncle striped pink and light brown; spathe 24 to 32 cm. long, the lower tubular portion 4 to 5 cm. long, whitish, flecked or indistinctly striped with pink and light brown, with reddish-purple margins, the upper portion orange with reddish margins, abruptly acute at apex but loosely convolute below, sometimes open near constriction at maturity; spadix 9 to 11 cm. long, the sterile appendage 7 to 13 mm. long, noticeably constricted, conspicuously acute.

Origin, and derivation of name: Introduced from South Seas; since four varieties were received under the name Kakakura, the descriptive suffix "ula" has been added to indicate a red Kakakura.

Distribution: Limited; the variety has done well at Pensacola Street Station under upland culture.

Use: Primarily as table taro.

Remarks: This variety is one of the most beautiful of all the taros. The predominating impression given by the plant is of the brilliant dark pinkish-red color; on closer examination almost every color of the rainbow may be found on the petiole. This taro might well be propagated as an ornamental plant.