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*Colocasia esculenta (Linnaeus) Schott. Elephant's-ear, Taro, Dasheen, Coco-Yam, Eddo. Phen: Jun-Oct. Hab: Ditches, shores, bottomland hardwood forests. Dist: Native of the Tropics. Frequently planted for its "tropical" appearance, becoming naturalized, for instance at Lake Waccamaw, Columbus County, NC, where it grows scattered along much of the shoreline, spread by fragments of rhizome.

Origin/Endemic status: Pantropics

Taxonomy Comments: See Serviss, McDaniel, & Bryson (2000) for a discussion of various varieties cultivated in the southeastern United States, their identification, and their weediness.

Other Comments: In our area, it is generally infertile. In the Tropics, Colocasia is a food crop cultivated for its rhizomes and shoots. The rhizomes are the source of "poi", a starchy staple of the Hawaiian Islands.

Synonymy: = Ar, ETx1, FNA22, GW1, K1, NcTx, WH3, Spaulding et al (2019); = n/a – RAB; > Colocasia antiquorum Schott – S; > Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott var. antiquorum (Schott) Hubb. & Rehder – K3, K4, Serviss, McDaniel, & Bryson (2000); > Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott var. aquatilis Hassk. – K3, K4; > Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott var. esculenta – K3, K4, Serviss, McDaniel, & Bryson (2000); > Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott var. nymphiifolia (Vent.) A.F.Hill – K3, K4

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACW
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FACW
  • Great Plains: OBL

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image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷

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