Xanthosoma is a genus of flowering plants in the arum family, Araceae. The genus is native to tropical America but widely cultivated and naturalized in other tropical regions. Several are grown for their starchycorms, an important food staple of tropical regions, known variously as malanga, otoy, otoe, cocoyam (or new cocoyam), tannia, tannier, yautía, macabo, ocumo, macal, taioba, dasheen, quequisque, ʻape and (in Papua New Guinea) as Singapore taro (taro kongkong). Many other species, including especially Xanthosoma roseum, are used as ornamental plants; in popular horticultural literature these species may be known as ‘ape due to resemblance to the true Polynesian 'ape, Alocasia macrorrhizos, or as elephant ear from visual resemblance of the leaf to an elephant's ear. Sometimes the latter name is also applied to members in the closely related genera Caladium, Colocasia (taro), and Alocasia.
The leaves of most Xanthosoma species are 40-200 cm long, sagittate (arrowhead-shaped) or subdivided into three or as many as 18 segments. Unlike the leaves of Colocasia, those of Xanthosoma are usually not peltate- the upper v-notch extends into the point of attachment of the leaf petiole to the blade.
The name is derived from the Greek words ξανθός (xanthos), meaning "yellow", and σῶμα (soma), meaning "body". It refers to the stigma or yellow inner tissues.
The inflorescence in Xanthosoma is composed of a spadix with pistillate flowers at the base, a belt of sterile flowers offered as a reward for pollinators in the middle and staminate flowers on the upper part. Prior to opening, the inflorescence is enclosed within a leaf-like spathe. When the inflorescence is ready to open, the upper part of the spathe opens and exposes the staminate area of the spadix; the basal area of the spathe remains closed, forming a spacious chamber (i.e., the spathe tube) that encloses the pistillate and sterile flowers (Garcia-Robledo et al. (2004, 2005a, 2005b)).
The inflorescences last for two nights and are protogynous in some species (though not others (Valerio (1988)), changing from the pistillate phase that attracts pollinators on the night it opens, to a staminate phase on the second night, when pollen is shed. When the inflorescence opens, it produces heat and releases a sweet scent attracting its pollinators, dynastine beetles (Cyclocephala spp.). Dynastines arrive covered with pollen from another inflorescence and remain in the spathe tube for 24 hours, pollinating the pistillate flowers as they feed on the sterile area of the spadix. On the second night, they come out of the tube and walk over the staminate flowers, getting covered with pollen, and then flying to a recently opened inflorescence nearby. (Garcia-Robledo et al. (2004, 2005a, 2005b)).
Fruit maturation takes several months. Fruits start to develop within the shelter of the spathe tube. When the infructescence
is mature, in some species, it arches back and downwards. In other species, it stays erect. Then, the tissue of the spathe tube rolls outwards, exhibiting the bright orange fruits and the velvety pink inner spathe surface.
Top Yautía (Cocoyam) Producers (in metric tons) 
Traditionally, Xanthosoma has been a subsistence crop with excess sold at local markets, but in the United States, large numbers of Latin American immigrants have created a market for commercial production. In general, production has yet to meet demand in some areas. In Polynesia, Alocasia macrorrhizos (‘ape) was considered a famine food, used only in the event of failure of the much preferred taro (kalo) crop. After having been introduced to Hawaiʻi in the 1920s from S. America, "Xanthosoma" has naturalized and has become more common than A. macrorrhizos, and has adopted the same name, ʻape.
The typical Xanthosoma plant has a growing cycle of 9 to 11 months, during which time it produces a large stem called a corm, this surrounded by smaller edible cormels about the size of potatoes. These cormels (like the corm) are rich in starch. Their taste has been described as earthy and nutty, and they are a common ingredient in soups and stews. They may also be eaten grilled, fried, or puréed. The young, unfurled leaves of some varieties can be eaten as boiled leafy vegetables or used in soups and stews, such as the Caribbean callaloo.
^Garcia-Robledo, Carlos; et al. (2004), "Beetle pollination and fruit predation in Xanthosoma daguense (Araceae)", Journal of Tropical Ecology, 20 (4): 459–469, doi:10.1017/S0266467404001610
^Garcia-Robledo, Carlos; et al. (2005a), "Equal and opposite effects of floral offer and spatial distribution on fruit production and pre-dispersal seed predation in Xanthosoma daguense (Araceae)", Biotropica, 37 (3): 373–380, doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2005.00049.x
^Vaneker, K. The Pomtajer. Page 216 In: Friedland, S. R., Ed. Vegetables: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cooking 2008: Volume 26 of Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. Oxford Symposium, 2009.