Alocasia macrorrhizos

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Alocasia macrorrhizos
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Genus: Alocasia
Species: A. macrorrhizos
Binomial name
Alocasia macrorrhizos
(L.) G.Don

Alocasia indica (Lour.) Spach
Alocasia macrorrhizos var. rubra (Hassk.) Furtado
Alocasia macrorrhizos var. variegata (K.Koch & C.D.Bouché) Furtado
Alocasia plumbea Van Houtte
Alocasia variegata K.Koch & C.D.Bouché
Arum indicum Lour.
Arum macrorrhizon L.
Colocasia indica (Lour.) Kunth[1]

Taiwan 2009 JinGuaShi Historic Gold Mine Abandoned Trail Giant Taro Elephant Ear Taro FRD 8760.jpg

Alocasia macrorrhizos is a species of flowering plant in the arum family, Araceae, that it is native to rainforests from Malaysia to Queensland[2] and has long been cultivated on many Pacific islands and elsewhere in the tropics. Common names include Giant Taro and Elephant Ear Taro, while words for the plant in the various Polynesian languages include Kape (Futunan,[3] Niuean,[4] Tongan, Wallisian[5]), ʻApe (Cook Islands Māori, Tahitian, Hawaiian), "ta'amu" in Samoan language, and Pulaka (Tuvalu).[6] In Australia it is known as the "cunjevoi" (although that term also refers to a marine animal). It is edible if cooked for a long time but its sap irritates the skin due to calcium oxalate crystals, or raphides which are needle like.[7] Alocasia species are commonly found in marketplaces in Samoa and Tonga and other parts of Polynesia. The varieties recognized in Tahiti are the Ape oa, haparu, maota, and uahea. The giant heart-shaped leaves make impromptu umbrellas in tropical downpours.

The Hawaiian saying: ʻAi no i ka ʻape he maneʻo no ka nuku (The eater of ʻape will have an itchy mouth) means "there will be consequences for partaking of something bad".[8]

In a 2012 study, it was found out that the domesticated giant taro originated from the Philippines.[9]


  1. ^ "Alocasia macrorrhizos (L.) G. Don". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2006-11-06. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  2. ^ "WCSP". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Archived from the original on 30 June 2010. Retrieved 2010. 
  3. ^ Claire Moyse-Faurie (1993). Peeters Selaf, ed. Dictionnaire futunien-français avec index français-futunien (in French). p. 194. ISBN 978-2-88723-070-1. 
  4. ^ Wolfgang B. Sperlich, ed. (1997). Tohi Vagahau Niue: Niue Language Dictionary. p. 145. ISBN 978-0-8248-1933-0. 
  5. ^ Karl H. Rensch (1984). Archipelago Press, ed. Tikisionalio Faka'uvea-fakafalani. Dictionnaire wallisien-français (in French). 
  6. ^ "Alocasia macrorrhizos". Ecocrop. Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  7. ^ Susan Scott; Craig Thomas (2009). Poisonous Plants of Paradise: First Aid and Medical Treatment of Injuries from Hawaii's Plants. University of Hawaii Press. 
  8. ^ Pukui, Mary Kawena (1986). ‘Ōlelo No'eau, Hawaiian Proverbs and Sayings. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press. 
  9. ^ Nauheimer, L; Boyce, P.C.; Renner, S.S. (2012). "Giant taro and its relatives: A phylogeny of the large genus Alocasia (Araceae) sheds light on Miocene floristic exchange in the Malesian region". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63 (1): 43–51. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.12.011. PMID 22209857. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Alocasia macrorrhizos at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Alocasia macrorrhizos at Wikispecies