Colocasia esculenta is a tropical plant grown for its edible corms, a root vegetable most commonly known as taro, or kalo in Hawaiian. It is the most widely cultivated species of several plants in the family Araceae which are used as vegetables.
Colocasia esculenta, commonly called taro, is a tuberous, stemless, frost-tender perennial of the arum family (see also calla lily and jack-in-the-pulpit) which typically grows 3-6' tall and as wide. For gardeners, it is primarily grown as a foliage plant with huge, heart-shaped to arrowhead-shaped, conspicuously-veined, downward-pointing, peltate leaves (to 2' long) on long, stout, succulent stems. As the common name suggests, each leaf purportedly resembles an elephant's ear. Calla lily-like flowers with yellowish-white spathes and spadixes are infrequently produced and usually hidden by the foliage when they do occur. This species is also commercially grown as a food crop in Hawaii (poi is made from the tubers) where it is commonly called taro. Genus name comes from the Greek word kolokasia used for the root of Nelumbo nucifera. Specific epithet means edible or good to eat.