Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Alocasia - (L.) G.Don

Common Name Giant Taro, Giant Elephant Ear
Family Araceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards All parts of the plant contain calcium oxalate crystals. This substance is toxic fresh and, if eaten, makes the mouth, tongue and throat feel as if hundreds of small needles are digging in to them. However, calcium oxalate is easily broken down either by thoroughly cooking the plant or by fully drying it and, in either of these states, it is safe to eat the plant. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet[238 ].
Habitats Common along river banks and other damp places from sea-level to 500 metres[311 ].
Range E. Asia - Indian subcontinent, Malaysia.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Alocasia Giant Taro, Giant Elephant Ear


botanicimage.com
Alocasia Giant Taro, Giant Elephant Ear
H Zell

 

Translate this page:

Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Alocasia is a PERENNIAL growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant is not wind tolerant.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Alocasia cordifolia (Bory) Cordem. Alocasia gigas Chantrier ex Andre Alocasia grandis N.E.Br. Alocasia indica (Lour.) Spach. Alocasia marginata N.E.Br. Alocasia metallica Schott Alocasia montana (Roxb.) Schott Alocasia pallida K.Koch & C.D.Bouche Alocasia plumbea Van Houtte Alocasia rapiformis (Roxb.) Schott Alocasia uhinkii Engl. & K.Krause Alocasia variegata K.Koch & C.D.Bouche Arum cordifolium Bory Arum indicum Lour. Arum macrorhizum L. Arum montanum Roxb. Arum mucronatum Lam. Arum peregrinum L. Arum rapiforme Roxb. Caladium indicum K.Koch Caladium macrorrhizon (L.) R.Br. Caladium metallicum Engl. Caladium odoratum Lodd. Caladium plumbeum K.Koch Calla badian Blanco Calla maxima Blanco Calocasia indica (Lour.) Kunth Colocasia boryi Kunth Colocasia macrorrhizos (L.) Schott Colocasia montana (Roxb.) Kunth Colocasia mucronata (Lam.) Kunth Colocasia peregrina (L.) Raf. Colocasia rapiformis (Roxb.) Kunth Philodendron peregrinum (L.) Kunth Philodendron punctatum Kunth

Habitats

Edible Uses

Corm - cooked[300 ]. The corm needs to be thoroughly cooked before being eaten in order to destroy the calcium oxalate crystals[300 , 418 ]. Stems - cooked[300 ]. The basal part of the stem, which can be up to 1 metre tall and 20cm in diameter, is peeled and used as a cooked vegetable[300 , 418 ]. It can be added to soups and stews[418 ]. A very easily digested starch can be obtained from the stem[300 , 418 ]. The leaves and stalks of some cultivars are edible[418 ].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Although no specific medicinal properties have been established, giant taro is often used in traditional medicine in the Pacific Islands[311 ].. The sap of the stem is used to treat earache or boils in the ear[311 ]. Externally, it is used to treat cuts[311 ]. In New Guinea, headaches are treated with the sap and the leaves[311 ]. The roots are used to treat swollen lymph glands[311 ]. The wood is used to treat stomach-ache and diarrhoea[311 ]. Sexual insufficiency is treated by eating the leaves cooked in coconut milk[311 ].

References

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

A fibre is said to be obtained from the plant[454 ].

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

A plant of the higher-rainfall areas of the lowland tropics, where it is cultivated at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 25c, but can tolerate 10 - 32c[418 ].It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 2,500 - 3,500mm, but tolerates 2,000 - 4,200mm[418 ]. Grows best in a position in some shade[419 ]. Prefers a well-drained, humus-rich, fertile loam, though it is tolerant of a wide range of soil types[300 ]. Dislikes water-logged soils[300 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.7 - 6.3, tolerating 5 - 7.3[418 ]. Grows best in higher-rainfall areas of the lowland tropics[300 ]. Plants take from 400 - 600 days to mature, but the stems can then remain in a suitable condition for a considerable time[300 ]. Whilst many forms of this plant contain calcium oxalate crystals (see notes above on toxicity), cultivars have been developed in India that do not contain oxalates[300 ]. Like many species in the family Araceae, this plant has the ability to heat the flowering spadix as the pollen becomes ready for fertilization. This heat greatly increases the strength of the aroma released by the plant, thus attracting more pollinating insects. It can also have the effect of making the insects more active, thus increasing the level of fertilization[472 ]. Position in the garden: Border, Pots/Tubs, Shrubbery. They do well in pots or tubs but may only reach one to one and a half metres in height.

References

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe. Germinates best at 24c. Division of the rootstock as the plant is coming into growth. Off-sets will appear at the base as it matures which can be easily transplanted.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Abis, Alu, Ape, 'Apea mamala, Babai, Biga, Birah negeri, Birah, Bisech, Boafuredhdhe, Chara kanda, Conjevoi, Daun keladi, Desa-ala, Elephant Ear, Fale, Fine, Gabi, Habarala, Hai yu, Ka, Kadard, Kape, Kebei, Kiri ala, Kiri habarala, Kradat daeng, Lai, Maanaka, Mahuya-pein, Man kachu, Manaka, Mana saru, Mana thaso, Mankachu, Mankanda, Marambu, Merukankilangu, Oht, Onak, Pai, Papao-alaka, Papao-atolong, Parum sembu, Pein-gyi, Piga, Rata-ala, Sankhasaru, Sente, Spoon Lily, Ta'amu, Te kabe, Thagong, Via, Via dalo, Via mila, Wot.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia. Central America, Chuuk, Cook Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Fiji, French Polynesia, FSM, Guam, Guianas, Haiti, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Kosrae, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marianas, Marquesas, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, Northeastern India, North America, Pacific, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Philippines, Pohnpei, Puerto Rico, Rotuma, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, SE Asia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South America, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tahiti, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Truk, Tuvalu, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Africa, West Indies, Yap

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Alocasia macrorrhizosGiant Taro, Giant Elephant EarPerennial3.0 10-12 FLMHFSNM311

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

(L.) G.Don

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Alocasia  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.
Web Design & Management