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Lauloa Palakea-keokeo

Lauloa Palakea-keokeo
Other Names: Lauloa Onionio

General Characteristics: Tall, erect, stocky, maturing within 9 to 12 months, producing from 5 to 10 oha; identified by needle-like black streaks on dark green petioles.

Petiole: 100 to 140 cm. long, dark green with a few short blackish streaks, tinged with reddish-purple at apex and often near edge, indistinctly reddish at edge, a brilliant pink ring at base with light pink for 2 to 3 cm. above.

Leaf blade: 45 to 65 cm. long, 30 to 40 cm. wide, 35 to 50 cm. from tip to base of sinus, narrowly sagittate, slightly concave, dark green with bluish cast; margins with a few large undulations; piko purplish; lobes acute with narrow sinus.

Corm: Flesh white with pinkish tinge, especially near apex, and yellowish fibers; skin brilliant pink.

Inflorescence: Peduncle green with black streaks, reddish-purple at apex; spathe 30 to 35 cm. long, the lower tubular portion 5.5 to 6 cm. long, yellowish-green with reddish-purple at constriction, the upper portion yellow, curved and drooping, usually tightly rolled but sometimes open near constriction; spadix 12 cm. long, the sterile appendage 12 to 17 mm. long.

Origin, and derivation of name: Native variety of probably rather recent origin produced through somatic mutation; this variety has much lighter petioles than the other Lauloa PaIakea-hence the suffix keokeo.

Distribution: Found exclusively under upland culture, occasionally as a mutation from Lauloa Palakea-eleele; it is usually rogued out as it is considered inferior.

Use: Sparingly as a table taro.

Remarks: Four forms of Lauloa PaIakea are commonly known, all characterized by soft, white corms, and distinguished from each other by some coloring on the petioles. Lauloa Palakea-keokeo is the most easily distinguished, as the other three varieties are dark green heavily suffused with reddish-purple. The black streaking on the petiole of this variety is extremely narrow, most of the streaks being scarcely wider than the thickness of a needle and of uniform thickness for their entire length.

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