The importance of nutritive parameters in the taxonomy of some corm-producing members of the family Araceae
This work gives detailed information of the proximate, phytochemical, Vitamin C and mineral constituents of the leaves and corms of members of family Araceae from genera Alocasia, Colocasia and Xanthosoma with the aim of promoting the use of these genera as food and solving some taxonomic problems. X-Ray Fluorescence was employed in determining the mineral constituents while other parameters were determined following standard methods. The result revealed high carbohydrate and moisture contents in all the taxa. The highest saponin and tannin contents were encountered in the leaves and corms of Xanthosoma saggitifolium. The leaves of the Xanthosoma taxa are rich in Vitamin C. Bulk, essential and non-essential elements were detected in all the taxa. They all had high potassium and calcium contents in their leaves and corms except in Colocasia esculentum var. esculentum where potassium was not detected in the leaves. Chromium was not detected in the leaves of Xanthosoma saggitifolium. Arsenic, Bromine and Rubidium were not detected in the leaves of Alocasia macrorrhiza, Alocasia plumbea, Xanthosoma mafaffa (Red) and Xanthosoma saggitifolium. Titanium was not detected in the leaves of the Colocasia and Xanthosoma varieties and the corms of Alocasia cucullata, Alocasia plumbea, Colocasia esculentum var. esculentum, Xanthosoma mafaffa (Red) and Xanthosoma saggitifolium. The use of nutritive parameters and phytochemicals in the taxonomy of the Araceae taxa was discussed.
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