Colocasia esculenta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Colocasieae
Genus: Colocasia

See text.


Leucocasia Schott[1]

Colocasia is a genus of 25 or more species[2][3] of flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to tropical Polynesia and southeastern Asia.[4] Common names include Elephant-ear, Taro, Cocoyam, Dasheen,Chembu(ചേമ്പ്), and Eddoe. Elephant-ear and Cocoyam are also used for some other large-leaved genera in the Araceae, notably Xanthosoma and Caladium. The generic name is derived from the Greek word for Nelumbo nucifera, κολοκασιον (kolokasion).[5]

They are herbaceous perennial plants with a large rhizome on or just below the ground surface. The leaves are large to very large, 20–150 cm (7.9–59 in) long, with a sagittate shape. The elephant's-ear plant gets its name from the leaves, which are shaped like a large ear or shield.


Selected species

  • Colocasia affinis Schott (syn. C. marshallii)[citation needed]
  • Colocasia bicolor C.L.Long & L.M.Cao
  • Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott (syn. C. antiquorum) – Taro, Elephant-ear, Eddoe
  • Colocasia fallax Schott
  • Colocasia fontanesii Schott
  • Colocasia formosan Hayata
  • Colocasia gaoligongensis H.Li & C.L.Long
  • Colocasia gigantea (Blume) Hook.f. – Giant Taro
  • Colocasia gongii C.L.Long & H.Li
  • Colocasia gracilis Engl.
  • Colocasia heterochroma H.Li & Z.X.Wei
  • Colocasia humilis Hassk.
  • Colocasia konishii Hayata
  • Colocasia latifolia Rojas
  • Colocasia lihengiae C.L.Long & K.M.Liu
  • Colocasia macrorrhiza (L.) Schott
  • Colocasia mannii Hook.f.
  • Colocasia marchalii Engl.
  • Colocasia menglaensis J.T.Yin, H.Li & Z.F.Xu
  • Colocasia neocaledonica L.Van Houtte
  • Colocasia obtusiloba Kunth
  • Colocasia oresbia A.Hay
  • Colocasia rapiformis Kunth
  • Colocasia tibetensis J.T.Yin
  • Colocasia yunnanensisC.L.Long & X.Z.Cai
List sources :[2][3][6]

Formerly placed here

  • Schismatoglottis calyptrata (Roxb.) Zoll. & Moritzi (as C. neoguineensis Linden ex André)
  • Alocasia macrorrhizos (L.) G.Don (as C. indica (Lour.) Kunth)[6]


Colocasia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Palpifer murinus and Palpifer sexnotatus.


C. esculenta corms

C. esculenta and other members of the genus are cultivated as ornamental plants, or for their edible corms, a traditional starch staple in many tropical areas.

The plant can be grown in the ground or in large containers. They are grown outside year-round in subtropical and tropical areas. In temperate regions, they are planted out for the summer and dug up and stored over winter, dry and with ventilation to prevent fungal infection. They can be grown in almost any temperature zone as long as the summer is warm. Growth is best at temperatures between 20 to 30 °C (68 to 86 °F). The plants can be damaged if temperatures fall below 10 °C (50 °F) for more than a few days.

The root tuber is typically planted close to the surface. The first signs of growth will appear in 1 to 3 weeks. The adult plant will need a minimum of at least 1 m2 (11 sq ft) of space for good growth. They do best in compost-rich soil and in shade, but will grow reasonably well in average soil provided it is moisture-retentive. The plants should not be left to go dry for too long; if this does happen, the leaves will wilt; watering will allow the plant to recover if done before they get too dry. Periodic fertilisation (every 3 to 4 weeks) with a common plant fertiliser will increase yields.


The edible types are grown in the South Pacific and eaten like potatoes and known as taro, eddoe, and dasheen.

Poi, an Hawaiian dish, is made by boiling the starchy underground stem of the plant.[7]

In the Indian subcontinent both roots and leaves are used. In Dakshina Kannada, Shimoga, and Udupi districts of Karnataka state, they are used to make Patrode. in Kerala state, the leaves are used to make chembila curry, and the roots are used in chembu puzhukku, a traditional accompaniment to Kerala congee. Various other recipes also exist locally. The stem and root are also used in the preparation of Ishtu and Moru curry. In TamilNadu, it is boiled, peeled and fried and used as a side-dish with rice. In Gujarat, they are used to make Patra. In Andhra cuisine, the roots are boiled, peeled, and fried as an entree with rice, or they may be boiled along with a gravy called "Pulusu", and the leaves are also used. In Nagaland, the leaves are dried, powdered, kneaded into a dough and baked into biscuits that are burnt and then dissolved in boiling water before being added into meat dishes to create a thick, flavourful dry gravy. In Cypriot cuisine they are used in a chicken and vegetable stew.


  1. ^ GRIN (October 5, 2007). "Colocasia Schott". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Query Results for Genus Colocasia". IPNI. Retrieved February 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Name - Colocasia Schott subordinate taxa". Tropicos. Saint Louis, Missouri: Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved February 13, 2010. 
  4. ^ Wagner, W. L., D. R. Herbst, and S. H. Sohmer (1999). Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai‘i. Revised edition. Vol. 2. University of Hawaiʻi Press/Bishop Museum Press. pp. 1357. 
  5. ^ Mabberley, D. J.. Mabberley's Plant-Book (3 ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 203. ISBN 9780521820714. 
  6. ^ a b GRIN. "Species in GRIN for genus Colocasia". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ World Book Encyclopedia

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Colocasia — Colocasia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • colocasia — (del lat. «colocasĭa»; Colocasia esculenta) f. *Planta arácea, originaria de la India, de hojas grandes comestibles lo mismo que la raíz, que es feculenta. ≃ Haba de Egipto. * * * colocasia. (Del lat. colocasĭa, y este del gr. κολοκασία). f.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • COLOCASIA — seu um, Graece Κολοκασία seu κολοκάσιον, quasi κολὸς κάσος seu κασῆς, i. e. parva lacerna, ob foliorum latitudinem, nomen est, multis herbis latifoliis commune, aro Aegyptio, Fabae Aegyptiae seu Ciborio, Loto et Nymphaeae: proprium vero… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Colocasia — n. a small genus of perennial tuberous herbs of the arum family, of tropical Asia and the Pacific islands, including the {taro} ({Colocasia esculente}). Syn: genus {Colocasia}. [WordNet 1.5] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Colocasia — Colocasĭa Ray., Pflanzengattg. der Arazeen, im trop. Asien. C. antiquōrum Schott. (Arum colocasia L.), in den Tropen als Taro der kopfgroßen Knollen halber angebaut, die Blätter und Blattstiele als Gemüse (Karibenkohl) benutzt; bei uns… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • colocásia — s. f. [Botânica] Planta arácea. = FAVA DO EGITO, INHAME DO EGITO   ‣ Etimologia: latim colocasia, ae …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • colocasia — (Del lat. colocasĭa, y este del gr. κολοκασία). f. Hierba de la familia de las Aráceas, originaria de la India, con las hojas grandes, de forma aovada y ondeadas por su margen, y la flor de color de rosa. Tiene la raíz carnosa y muy acre cuando… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Colocasĭa — (C. Sch. et. Endl.), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Aroideae Caladieae Colocasieae, ehedem zu Arum gezählt, sich meistens durch einen großen, durch die abgefallenen Blätter genarbten Stamm auszeichnend; Arten: C. antiquorum, in Ostindien,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Colocasĭa — Schott (Kolokasie), Gattung der Arazeen, Stauden mit knolligem oder aufrechtem Stamm, langgestielten, schild oder eiförmigen, am Grunde herzförmigen Blättern, lang kegelförmigem, pfriemen oder nur stachelförmigem Anhang des Blütenkolbens und… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Colocasia — COLOCASIA, æ, ein Beynamen der Minerva, unter welchem sie ehemals zu Sicyon verehret wurde. Athenæus, L. III. c. 1. p. 72 …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

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