Colocasia Schott

Elephant's Ear

Either from Arabic kolkas (kulcas) or Greek calo – dark or blue, casia – tuber.

Tuberous herbs, sometimes with stolons or rhizomes and with flower stalks shorter than the leaves. Leaves peltate, notched at the base, usually with 2-3 marginal veins, the lateral veins bending to meet the marginals and divided into rectangular areas by crossing minor veins; stalks long. Spathe with a constriction between the tube and expanded blade. Spadix with many flowers, the male zone longest, tipped by a sterile appendix. Flowers unisexual, perianth absent. Ovary 1-chambered and containing numerous parietal ovules in 2-4 rows.

8 species mostly from tropical Asia.

Division or occasionally by seed.

C. esculenta is Taro, grown for the edible young leaves (often blanched) and tubers. The starch is used as a component of biodegradable plastic.

Sterile appendix relatively small; ovules and seeds several to many; placentation parietal cf. Alocasia.

Wang (1983).

Source: Spencer, R. (2005). Araceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Alismatales
family       Araceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott