Alocasia macrorrhizos (elephant ear taro)
Leaf of Alocasia macrorrhizos
Alocasia macrorrhizos (L.) G. Don
elephant ear taro, giant taro
Not of conservation concern.
Tropical humid forest. Commonly found growing around human settlements.
Food, medicine, ornamental.
The rhizomes (swollen underground stems) contain stinging calcium oxalate crystals.
About this species
Elephant ear taro is a giant plant with distinctive leaves and is valued as an ornamental. The swollen underground stems are used for food and animal fodder, and the roots and leaves are used medicinally in some countries. For example, in Hawaii, it has been used to treat digestive complaints, as a topical dressing for burns, and as a love charm. In the Philippines, the leaf stalks have been used to relieve toothache and on Java the roots and leaves have been used to relieve pain and redness. The rhizomes contain an anti-fungal protein called alocasin.