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

A fair table taro.


Little-known variety of limited distribution.

General Characteristics

Medium in height to tall, slender, erect, maturing within 9 to 12 months, producing from 2 to 5 ‘ohā; differentiated by profuse purplish-black stripes on light green background.

Ha (Petiole)

75 to 100 cm. long, light green prominently striped with purplish-black nearly throughout, the upper section suffused with reddish-purple which runs into the primary veins of basal round leaf section (lobes), reddish-purple at top (apex), whitish at kōhina (base), with an indistinct whitish lihi (stem edge).

Lau or Lu'au(Leaf Blade)

40 to 55 cm. long, 35 to 45 cm. wide, 30 to 40 cm. from tip to base of sinus (māwae), egg-shaped (ovate), inconspicuously patchy color (mottled) dark and light green with bluish cast; piko large, prominent, purple; veins reddish-purple at margins and on lower surfaces of round leaf section (lobes); round leaf section (lobes) acute with deep, narrow lihi māwae (sinus).

'I'o kalo (Corm)

Flesh chalky white with conspicuous yellow fibers; skin cream-colored.

Pua (Flower)

Hā (peduncle) striped dark purple and light green; flower cover (spathe) about 28 cm. long, the lower tubular portion striped like Hā (peduncle) with deep purple at constriction (skinny part of flower), the upper portion yellow; spadix (spike of flower) about 9 cm. long, the flower sex organ (staminate) portion yellow, the sterile appendage (tip of flower's spike) orange, about 8 mm. long.