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 red poi of good quality. Lehua reflects the color that the poi transforms into; the fresh poi is grey and ferments into red, after a couple days.


Grown in a few scattered localities, primarily under māla (upland) culture.

General Characteristics

Medium in height, well spreading, maturing within 8 to 12 months, producing from 5 to 10 ‘ohā; identified by pale green Hā (Petiole) with broad, purplish-black lihi (stem edges).

Ha (Petiole)

70 to 90 cm. long, pale green often tinged with reddish-brown at the top (apex), pinkish at kōhina (base) with a reddish-purple ring, the lihi (stem edge) conspicuous, broad, purplish-black with adjacent dark green blotches.

Lau or Lu'au(Leaf Blade)

40 to 55 cm. long, 35 to 45 cm. wide, 35 to 45 cm. from tip to base of sinus (māwae), broadly arrow head shaped, drooping, medium green with pinkish cast when young; margins slightly wave-like (undulate); piko pinkish; veins reddish on lower surface; round leaf section (lobes) acute with medium-cut lihi māwae (sinus).

'I'o kalo (Corm)

Flesh pale pinkish with purplish fibers; skin dark pinkish.

Pua (Flower)



Bulletin 84 states, "This variety is repudiated to make very luxuriant growth in certain sections, rivaling the Laoloa group." This may refer to how the variety grows large.