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

Eaten mainly as table taro for home consumption. Makes excellent poi.


Limited, confined chiefly to the island of Hawai‘i; planted almost exclusively under māla (upland) culture.

General Characteristics

Medium in height, erect, maturing within 9 to 12 months, producing two or three branches; as many as 6 to 7 ‘ohā from a corm, readily distinguished from other Mana by the blackish colored Hā (Petiole).

Ha (Petiole)

55 to 85 cm. long, purplish-black, pink to whitish at the lihi (stem edge), a dark reddish-purple ring at the kōhina (base) with lilac pink for 3 to 4 cm. above the base.

Lau or Lu'au(Leaf Blade)

35 to 50 cm. long, 25 to 40 cm. wide, 30 to 40 cm. from tip to base of sinus (māwae), egg-shaped (ovate), dark green; veins purplish on lower surface; round leaf section (lobes) acute with shallow lihi māwae (sinus).

'I'o kalo (Corm)

Flesh white tinged with lilac near the top (apex), with yellowish fibers; skin dark purple.

Pua (Flower)



This variety is said to be the most drought-resistant of the Hawaiian taros.