Kalo Varieties

Which variety of kalo is the best? The one that's in the bowl on the table. - Jerry Konanui, Hawaiian Mahi‘ai

Use As Food

Makes a very good red poi.


Planted quite extensively in Kona, Hawai‘i, usually under māla (upland) culture, but not widely grown elsewhere.

General Characteristics

Medium in height to tall, slender, erect, maturing within 8 to 12 months, producing from 2 to 5 ‘ohā; distinguished by the dark green Hā (Petiole) which are shaded with purple, especially near kōhina (base) and along margins.

Ha (Petiole)

75 to 100 cm. long, dark green with purplish shading especially near kōhina (base) and along margins, purple at the top (apex), with a narrow dark reddish to purplish-black edge, a dark reddish-purple ring at kōhina (base) with lighter reddish purple for 3 to 5 cm. above the base.

Lau or Lu'au(Leaf Blade)

45 to 55 cm.long, 30 to35 cm.wide, 35 to 45 cm. from tip to base of sinus (māwae), arrow head shaped, drooping, dark green; piko small, dark purplish; round leaf section (lobes) acute with deep, narrow lihi māwae (sinus).

'I'o kalo (Corm)

Flesh lilac-purple with darker reddish-purple fibers; skin brilliant reddish-purple; roots light reddish-purple.

Pua (Flower)



This is an early-maturing taro of high yielding capacity. It must be harvested as soon as it is mature as it rots readily if held in the field for any length of time.