Araceae Juss.

Colocasia Schott

This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & Subtropical Asia.


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

Tropical humid forest habitats; geophytes, terrestrial or helophytes, wet places, along streams and ponds, forest floor in leaf litter, between rocks, sometimes on limestone ( C. gigantea).
Trop. & Subtrop. Asia.
General Description
HABIT : small, medium-sized or gigantic, seasonally dormant or evergreen herbs, stem either a hypogeal, subglobose or subcylindric tuber or mostly epigeal, massive. LEAVES : several, rosulate in acaulescent plants, forming terminal crown in arborescent species. PETIOLE : sheath rather long. BLADE : peltate, ovate-cordate to sagittate-cordate, posterior lobes rounded, shortly to almost entirely connate; basal ribs well-developed, primary lateral veins pinnate, forming submarginal collective vein, 1-2 marginal veins also present, secondary and tertiary laterals arising from the primaries at a wide angle, then arching strongly towards leaf margin, higher order venation reticulate. INFLORESCENCE : 1-many in each floral sympodium, appearing with the leaves. PEDUNCLE : much shorter than petiole. SPATHE : constricted between tube and blade, sometimes with a second constriction above male zone of spadix, tube with convolute margins, usually much shorter than blade, ovoid or oblong, persistent, enlarging in fruit and then splitting open irregularly, blade white to yellow, oblong and boat-shaped to narrowly lanceolate, reflexing at anthesis, later deciduous. SPADIX : shorter than spathe, female zone short, separated from male by narrower zone of sterile male flowers, male zone cylindric to fusiform, terminal appendix erect, ± smooth, elongate-conoid to fusiform or subulate, sometimes reduced to small, mucronate stub, rarely absent. FLOWERS : unisexual, perigone absent. MALE FLOWER : 3-6-androus, stamens connate into ± truncate synandrium, thecae lateral, oblong-linear, dehiscing by apical pore. POLLEN : extruded in strands, inaperturate, ellipsoid-oblong or spherical to subspheroidal ( C. esculenta), small to medium-sized (mean 25 µm., range 25-26 µm), exine finely striate, coarsely swirling-fossulate or fossulate-spinose. STERILE MALE FLOWERS : synandrodes depressed-obpyramidal, truncate, laterally compressed. FEMALE FLOWER : ovary ovoid or oblong, 1-locular, ovules many, hemiorthotropous, funicles relatively long, placentae 2-5, parietal, style short, narrowed or not, sometimes ± absent, stigma discoid-capitate or weakly lobed. BERRY : greenish to whitish or red (?), obconoid or oblong, stigma remnants persistent, many-seeded. SEED : ovoid to ellipsoid, testa thickish, costate, embryo axile, cylindric, endosperm copious.
Small to gigantic, terrestrial or helophytic geophytes, stem tuberous or aerial; leaves peltate with colocasioid fine venation; spadix with terminal sterile appendix, rarely reduced or absent, male and female zones separated by narrower zone of sterile flowers; flowers unisexual, perigone absent; male flower a more-or-less truncate synandrium. Differs from Alocasia in parietal placentation, numerous ovules and always entire leaf blades.
taro, eddoe.

taro, eddoe; C. esculenta is an important food plant in tropical regions, especially the Pacific.

Native to:

Assam, Bangladesh, Borneo, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, India, Laos, Malaya, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicobar Is., Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam, West Himalaya

Introduced into:

Alabama, Algeria, Andaman Is., Azores, Baleares, Benin, Bermuda, Bismarck Archipelago, Bolivia, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canary Is., Caroline Is., Cayman Is., Central African Repu, Chad, Chagos Archipelago, Christmas I., Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Is., Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Aegean Is., Easter Is., Ecuador, Florida, Galápagos, Gambia, Gilbert Is., Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jawa, Kermadec Is., Korea, Laccadive Is., Leeward Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Line Is., Louisiana, Madagascar, Madeira, Malawi, Maldives, Marquesas, Mexico Southwest, Mississippi, Morocco, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New South Wales, Nicaragua, Niue, Norfolk Is., Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Samoa, Santa Cruz Is., Sardegna, Senegal, Seychelles, Sicilia, Society Is., Socotra, Solomon Is., Spain, Sri Lanka, St.Helena, Sudan, Sulawesi, Texas, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad-Tobago, Tuamotu, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Wallis-Futuna Is., Western Australia, Windward Is., Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Colocasia Schott appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
21980.000 No

First published in H.W.Schott & S.L.Endlicher, Melet. Bot.: 18 (1832)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. & Frodin, D.G. (2002). World Checklist and Bibliography of Araceae (and Acoraceae): 1-560. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.


Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • Engl., Pflanzenr. 4, 23E: 62 (1920).
  • F.T.A. 8: 164
  • in Schott and Endl., Melet. 1: 18 (1832)

CATE Araceae

  • Mayo, S.J., Bogner, J. & Boyce, P.C. 1997. The genera of Araceae. 370 pp.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2008. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • CATE Araceae

    Haigh, A., Clark, B., Reynolds, L., Mayo, S.J., Croat, T.B., Lay, L., Boyce, P.C., Mora, M., Bogner, J., Sellaro, M., Wong, S.Y., Kostelac, C., Grayum, M.H., Keating, R.C., Ruckert, G., Naylor, M.F. and Hay, A., CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.