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

Fair table taro. The taro has excellent quality as table taro. The Mana and the Lauloa taros are used in preference to all others for making the Hawaiian pudding kūlolo, a combination of grated taro and coconut milk.


Very little known how common it is grown in Hawai‘i.

General Characteristics

Short to medium in height, moderately spreading, maturing within 9 to 12 months, producing two or three branches; different from Mana Ke‘oke‘o by the lighter Ha (Petiole) color and whitish rather than light lilac-pink or purple leaf-scar rings of ‘i‘o kalo (Corm).

Ha (Petiole)

50 to 70 cm. long, pale green, often with light brownish fleckings near kōhina (base) and along the margins, pink at edge, purplish at apex, white at kōhina (base).

Lau or Lu'au(Leaf Blade)

40 to 45 cm. long, 30 to 35 cm. wide, 30 to 35 cm. front tip to base of sinus (māwae), egg-shaped (ovate), firm-chartaceous (this means paper like), medium green; margins slightly revolute (this means to to roll back, or curve upwards); piko yellowish to light purple; round leaf section (lobes) acute with narrow lihi māwae (sinus).

'I'o kalo (Corm)

Flesh chalky white with distinct yellow fibers; skin white.

Pua (Flower)

Hā (peduncle) whitish; flower cover (spathe) 21 to 24 cm. long, the lower tubular portion 3 to 4 cm. long, light green, the upper portion yellow, tightly rolled; spadix (spike of flower) 7 to 8 cm. long, the sterile appendage (tip of flower's spike) 4 to 5 mm. long.