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

At the present time a large part of the luau sold in the market comes from this variety. The young leaves are considered desirable for lū ‘au because of their large size, tenderness, and comparative nonacridity (not strong or bitter flavor). The ‘i‘o kalo (Corm) are used as a table taro. The calcium oxylate crystals in the corm dissolve quickly. Bun-long is commonly used for taro chips, and in Chinese restaurants it is cooked with taro duck, or as fried dumplings for dim sum. This is the kalo variety that Thai chefs use in taro tapioca. It is also used in bubble drinks.


Grown rather widely, under dryland (māla) and wetland (lo‘i) culture. Commercially important to Asian cooking, and its leaves (lū ‘au) are often used for making laulau.

General Characteristics

Tall, well sreading, stocky, maturing within 9 to 12 months, producing from 15 to 20 ‘ohā; identified by purple ‘i‘o kalo (Corm) fibers, conspicuous against whitish ‘i‘o kalo (Corm) flesh.

Ha (Petiole)

75 to 110 cm. long, dark green slightly tinged with reddish-purple on upper half, conspicuously purple at apex, indistinctly reddish at edge, usually an indistinct pinkish or purplish ring at kōhina (base) with white for 3 to 4 cm. above.

Lau or Lu'au(Leaf Blade)

50 to 60 cm. long, 35 to 45 cm. wide, 35 to 50 cm. from tip to base of sinus, egg-shaped (ovate), drooping, dark green; margins slightly wave-like (undulate); piko large, purple; veins light purple on lower surface; round leaf section (lobes) acute with shallow, narrow lihi māwae (sinus).

'I'o kalo (Corm)

Flesh white with conspicuous purple fibers; skin cream-colored, occasionally purple along leaf-scar rings.

Pua (Flower)



This variety has the same ‘i‘o kalo (Corm) coloring as Trinidad dasheen.