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 a table taro.


Planted in a few scattered localities, nearly always under māla (upland) culture.

General Characteristics

Medium in height, well spreading, maturing within 9 to 12 months, producing from 5 to 10 ‘ohā; distinguished by profuse light and dark green striping of the Hā (Petiole), with reddish tinge on upper third.

Ha (Petiole)

65 to 90 cm. long, distinctly and profusely dark and light green-striped, strongly tinged with reddish-purple on upper third, white at kōhina (base), light pinkish at lihi (stem's edge), curved slightly at the top (apex).

Lau or Lu'au(Leaf Blade)

45 to 55 cm. long, 30 to 40 cm. wide, 40 to 45 cm. from tip to base of sinus (māwae), arrow head shaped, thin in texture, drooping, inconspicuously light and dark green.patchy color (mottled); margins wave-like (undulate); piko purple; veins reddish-purple on lower surface; round leaf section (lobes) acute with narrow lihi māwae (sinus).

'I'o kalo (Corm)

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

Pua (Flower)

Hā (peduncle) green and white striped with diffusion of reddish-purple; flower cover (spathe) 28 to 32 cm, long, the lower tubular portion 4 to 5 cm. long, tightly convolute, green- and white-striped with conspicuous diffusion of reddish-purple, often nearly obscuring the striping. The upper portion of the flower tightly rolled, slightly open near constriction (skinny part of flower) upon maturity, yellow, often drooping.