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

Primarily eaten as table taro.


Limited; the variety has done well under upland, dryland culture (māla).

General Characteristics

Medium in height to tall, moderately spreading, maturing within 9 to 12 months, producing very early from 6 to 12 short, thick rhizome (Corm); distinguishable by brilliant reddish-purple coloration overlying light and dark green striping on the hā (petiole).

Ha (Petiole)

75 to 95 cm. long, dark and light green-striped with strong tinge of reddish-purple almost obscuring stripes, indistinctly edged, white at kōhina (base), curved at apex so that blade hangs almost vertically.

Lau or Lu'au(Leaf Blade)

45 to 60 cm. long, 30 to 35 cm. wide, 35 to 50 cm. from tip to base of sinus, arrow head shaped, firm-chartaceous (paper like), dark green with bluish cast; veins reddish on lower surface; piko purple; round leaf section (lobes) acute with shallow, wide lihi māhae (sinus).

'I'o kalo (Corm)

Flesh white with yellowish fibers; skin cream-colored to white.

Pua (Flower)

Hā (peduncle) striped pink and light brown; flower cover (spathe) 24 to 32 cm. long, the lower tubular portion 4 to 5 cm. long, whitish, flecked or indistinctly striped with pink and light brown, with reddish-purple margins, the upper portion orange with reddish margins, abruptly acute at apex but loosely convolute below, sometimes open near constriction (skinny part of flower) at maturity; spadix (spike of flower) 9 to 11 cm. long, the sterile appendage (tip of flower's spike) 7 to 13 mm. long, noticeably constricted, conspicuously acute (this means it is thin and pointed).


This variety is one of the most beautiful of all the taros with its stripes and colors on the stem. The plant gives a strong impression with its brilliant dark pinkish-red color; on closer examination almost every color of the rainbow may be found on the Ha (Petiole). This taro might be distributed as an ornamental plant.