The study focused on the characterization of taro, scientifically known as Colocasia esculenta in the Bicol Region, Philippines. Taro samples were collected from different provinces in the Bicol region and planting materials for each sample were grown in a germplasm collection site. Characterization of cultivars was based on the established botanical morphometrics such as length, width and diameter for leaf, petiole and corm using an ordinary ruler and meter stick. Color variations of leaf margin, dorsal and ventral blade and veins, petiole and corm flesh and fiber were identified.
Results indicated 17 taro cultivars, 13 of which were identified with its local names as Princesa, Agatpaya, Balitaka, Sinamar, Tinahig, Quinsol, Negrito, Lipod/Ipod, Binting dalaga, Ito-ini, Inuruon, kolduroy, Duguan/ Dugong dalaga while four (4) cultivars were unknown to the farmers. Sample of cultivars were subjected to morphological characterization using color of leaf or blade, petiole and corm and sizes as major distinguishing characteristics.
Leaf color ranged from dark green on the dorsal to pale green on the ventral surfaces but varied in distribution of purple color. Petiole color varied from purpleto green or a combination of both. Corm color is from white to yellow flesh with fibers from yellow to purple.