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 exclusively under upland culture (māla) in a few scattered localities, chiefly in Kona and Puna, Hawai‘i.

General Characteristics

Short to medium in height, moderately spreading, stocky, maturing within 9 to 12 months, producing from 5 to 10 ‘ohā; the brilliantly red-streaked apex (top) of the Hā (Petiole) is distinctive.

Ha (Petiole)

60 to 80 cm. long, dark green brilliantly streaked with red at the top (apex), especially when young, a brilliant deep pink ring at kōhina (base), the area above is red with a few broad green stripes, indistinctly pinkish at the lihi (stem edge).

Lau or Lu'au(Leaf Blade)

40 to 55 cm. long, 30 to 35 cm, wide, 30 to 40 cm. from tip to base of sinus (māwae), slightly concave (curve inward), thin in texture, medium green; margins slightly wave-like (undulate); piko light green or tinged with red; veins brilliantly reddish on lower surfaces of round leaf section (lobes); round leaf section (lobes) acute with wide lihi māwae (sinus).

'I'o kalo (Corm)

Flesh white with pinkish tinge, especially near the top (apex), and yellowish fibers; skin a brilliant pink, purple at leaf-scar rings.

Pua (Flower)



The red coloration near the kōhina (base) of the Hā (Petiole) is often so narrow that it may not be noticed.