Alocasia macrorrhizos

Alocasia macrorrhizos , Photo: Michael Lahanas

Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Liliopsida
Subclassis: Alismatidae
Ordo: Alismatales
Familia: Araceae
Subfamilia: Aroideae
Tribus: Colocasieae
Genus: Alocasia
Species: Alocasia macrorrhizos
Varieties: A. macrorrhizos var. rubra - A. macrorrhizos var. variegata


Alocasia macrorrhizos (L.) G.Don


* USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database, 6 March 2006 (

Data compiled from various sources by Mark W. Skinner. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

* R. Sweet, Hort. brit. ed. 3:631. 1839 "macrorhizon"
* USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. [1]

Vernacular names
English: giant taro


Alocasia macrorrhizos (Araceae) is the "giant taro" or "elephant ear taro". It is native to rainforests from Malaysia to Queensland [1] and has long been cultivated on many Pacific islands and elsewere in the tropics. Its Polynesian name is Kape, in some languages (like Hawaiian) Ape. 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 has irritant sap. Alocasia species are used as food plants in the Pacific only in times of food shortage. 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: Ai no i ka `ape he nane`o no ka nuku (The eater of `ape will have an itchy mouth) means "there will be consequences for partaking of something bad".


1. ^ "WCSP". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Retrieved 2010.

* Susan Scott; Craig Thomas (2009) Poisonous Plants of Paradise: First Aid and Medical Treatment of Injuries from Hawaii's Plants. University of Hawai'i Press.

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