Taro and yautia are two edible aroids grown in the humid tropics of Asia, Africa and Latin America and used as staple food crops by millions of people in developing countries. They are mainly propagated vegetatively. Selection and improvement of these crops require characterization using desirable morphological traits for various end-uses. An agro morphological characterization study was conducted at the experimental site of Centre de Recherche Agronomique du Littoral (CRAL) of Institut Togolais de Recherche Agronomique (ITRA) in Togo. The aim of the study was to evaluate the morphological variation within taro and yautia accessions. A total of 127 accessions (26 accessions of taro and 101 accessions of yautia) were grown in a randomized complete block design with three replications from October 2016 to November 2017. Thirty-eight (38) characters were studied for taro and twenty-eight (28) for yautia. Data was analyzed using ANOVA, factorial and clustering analyses. Findings of ANOVA show high positive correlations between vegetative traits such as plant height, plant span with corm and cormels weight. The factorial analysis and dendrogram of the HCA, based on the agro morphological traits, showed four major groups for taro accessions and three groups for yautia accessions. The results demonstrated morphological variation among taro and yautia grown in Togo. Findings from this study are an important data base for conservation and use of these crops in Togo. However, the results suggest also the existence of duplicate in the collection. Ploidy analysis and molecular studies are required to complement and confirm the current agro morphological variation.
Key words: Colocasia, Xanthosoma, Araceae, morphology, diversity, Togo.