elephant ear, taro, yam
Species commonly cultivated
Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott
Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa
a troublesome weed of waterways in numerous countries (e.g. United States and Australia)
Perennial, with large rhizomatous tuber. Stem thick, compact. Leaves in rosette, petioles long (> 2m); leaf blade large, cordate to sagittate. Inflorescence a spadix subtended by a persistent spathe; female flowers at base of spadix, males at apex, with sterile flowers between them. Perianth absent; anthers united. Dispersal by edible berries.
shallow water and wet ground of all types of lowland waterways; tropical
For tens of thousands of years, the large tubers of Colocasia esculenta have been used as a staple starchy food in numerous tropical countries in Africa, Oceania, Asia, and Central and South America. Numerous varieties are cultivated for gardens.