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

Chiefly used as table taro. The taro has excellent quality as table taro. The Mana and the Lauloa taros are used in preference to all others for making the Hawaiian pudding kūlolo, a combination of grated taro and coconut milk.


Limited; grown primarily under upland, dryland culture (māla).

General Characteristics

Medium in height to tall, stiffly erect, maturing within 9 to 12 months, producing two or three branches; characterized by large, somewhat egg-shaped (ovate) lau or lū ‘au (Leaf blade) and dark green hā (petiole) with dark brownish-purple on the lower portion.

Ha (Petiole)

80 to 90 cm. long, dark green tinged with brownish-purple, dark brownish-purple on basal third, fairly broadly edged with pink to whitish, a dark reddish-purple ring at the kōhina (base) with lilac-pink flecked area for 1 to 3 cm. above the base.

Lau or Lu'au(Leaf Blade)

45 to 50 ml, long, 35 to 40 cm, wide, 35 to 45 cm. from tip to base of sinus (māwae), egg-shaped (ovate), thin in texture, medium green; margins wave-like (undulate); piko purplish; round leaf section (lobes) obtuse (wide), sometimes overlapping, with narrow lihi māwae (sinus).

'I'o kalo (Corm)

Flesh white with pink apex and yellowish fibers; skin pinkish-lilac to purple.

Pua (Flower)