Araceae Juss.

Leucocasia gigantea (Blume) Schott

This species is accepted, and its native range is S. China to W. Malesia.


CATE Araceae, 17 Dec 2011.

Native from southern China and Indochina to West Malesia. In Malesia: Malay Peninsula, Sumatera and Java; absent from Borneo. Sastrapradja & Hambali (1979) note the occurrence of this species in Kalimantan, but we have not seen any material from Borneo, where Alocasia robusta may be confused with it.
General Description
Very robust herb, c. 150–250 cm tall, solitary to clump-forming; Stem condensed, creeping, c. 10 cm diam., lacking stolons. LEAVES several together; petiole to 150 cm long, light green with conspicuous to somewhat obscure waxy-white-glaucous coating, sheathing in the lower c. 1/3–1/2; wing of sheath c. 1 cm wide, inrolled ; blade very broadly cordate-sagittate, peltate, green, membranous, margin slightly undulate, almost erect, to 150 cm long, to 110 cm wide; anterior lobe c. 2/3 the length of the blade, the tip bluntly acute minutely apiculate; midrib with up to 6 primary veins diverging at an angle of 40°–70°, prominent abaxially and adaxially; sub marginal vein c. 0.5 cm from the margin; secondary veins flush with the lamina; interprimary collective veins inconspicuous; posterior lobes somewhat overlapping, to 56 cm long, peltate for 1/3 of their length; posterior costae diverging at c. 30°–50°. INFLORESCENCES several together; peduncle c. 55 cm long, greenish, elongated during fruit stage. Spathe c. 17 cm long, constricted at level of sterile zone of spadix; lower spathe 3–6 cm long, narrowly ovoid, green; limb erect, narrowly ovate, to 11 cm long, white, deciduous. Spadix almost the same length with the spathe; female zone c. 3.5 cm, with c. 150 pistils; interpistillar staminodes absent; ovary subglobose, greenish, c. 0.25 cm long, 0.2 cm in diam., with many ovules; stigma on very short style, almost sessile, cream, 4–6 lobed, rounded; sterile zone c. 3 cm long, white, attenuate, with c. 5 whorls elongated synandrodia; male zone white, c. 8 cm long, c. 2 cm wide; synandria irregularly rhombo-hexagonal, sometimes somewhat rhomboid, 1mm in diam.; thecae over-topped by synconnective, opening through lateral pores; appendix vestigial, constricted at base, c. 1 cm long, narrowly conical. Fruit a berry, oblong, c. 5 cm long, c. 3.5 cm wide; seed ovoid-cylindrical, numbering hundreds per infructescence, strongly ridged longitudinally, c. 0.1 cm long. Herbs, large to gigantic, evergreen, with massive, stout epigeal stem. Leaves very large; petiole pale green, strikingly pruinose, to 2.5m, proximal half sheathing; leaf blade white pruinose abaxially, especially when immature, green or pale green adaxially, ovate-cordate, 25–250 × 17–150cm, membranous, base cordate, peltate, margin undulate, apex shortly acuminate. Inflorescences 5–13 arising from leaf axil (actually terminal on shoot and displaced by new shoot); peduncle pruinose, cylindric, 30–80 × 1–2cm, each with a membranous cataphyll nearly equaling length of peduncle. Spathe 12–24cm; tube green, ellipsoid, 3–6 × 1.5–2cm; limb erect, white, oblong-boat-shaped, distinctly constricted, 8–19 × 2–3cm. Spadix 9–20cm; female zone white or cream-colored, conic; sterile zone 3–4.5cm, slender; male zone 5–14cm; appendix very short, 1–5mm, apex acute. Berry oblong, ca. 5 mm. Seeds many, fusiform, with many distinct longitudinal striations. 2n = 28.
In the Malay Peninsula mainly, but not exclusively, on limestone; lithophytic to terrestrial, sometimes a pioneer after fire. In Java and Sumatera it is a common weed in disturbed places. Backer & Bakhuizen (1968:121) note its occurrence in mixed and teak forests, swamps, Imperata fields and in cultivation. Valley forests, limestone-associated, usually on moist but well drained sites, also cultivated.
Fl. Apr–Jun, fr. Sep.
da ye yu

In Thailand and Indochina and, less frequently in Malaysia, the sliced petioles are added to soups or served curried.

Native to:

Bangladesh, Borneo, Cambodia, China South-Central, China Southeast, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Myanmar, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam

Introduced into:

Maluku, Taiwan

Leucocasia gigantea (Blume) Schott appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Jul 1, 2010 Kerr, A.F.G. [11576], Thailand Colocasia gigantea K000524410 Yes
Jul 1, 2010 Garrett, H.B.G. [1229], Thailand Colocasia gigantea K000524412 Yes
Jul 1, 2010 Rabil [202], Thailand Colocasia gigantea K000524413 Yes
Jul 1, 2010 Kerr, A.F.G. [11576], Thailand Colocasia gigantea K000524411 Yes
Jun 1, 2000 Zollinger, H. [1857/6] Colocasia gigantea K000524417 Yes
Jun 1, 2000 Zollinger, H. [1857/6] Colocasia gigantea K000524416 Yes
Jul 1, 1970 Lau, S.K. [490], China Colocasia gigantea K000524404 Yes
Jun 26, 1962 McClure, F.A. [20587], China Colocasia gigantea K000524403 Yes
Bogner, J. [427], Thailand Colocasia gigantea 34491.000 No
Colocasia gigantea 46113.000 No
Bogner [427] Colocasia gigantea 57567.000 No
Bogner [427], Thailand Colocasia gigantea 58103.000 No
Bogner [427], Thailand Colocasia gigantea 58126.000 No
Scortechini, Revd. [s.n.], Peninsular Malaysia Colocasia gigantea K000524405 Yes
Scortechini, Revd. [s.n.], Peninsular Malaysia Colocasia gigantea K000524406 Yes
Nguyen, V.D. et al. [HNK-1751], Vietnam Colocasia gigantea K000524414 Yes
Bogner [427], Thailand Colocasia gigantea K000524409 Yes
Nguyen, V.D. et al. [HNK-1751], Vietnam Colocasia gigantea K000524415 Yes
Nur [11916], Peninsular Malaysia Colocasia gigantea K000524407 Yes
Ridley, H. [8156], Peninsular Malaysia Colocasia gigantea K000524408 Yes

First published in Oesterr. Bot. Wochenbl. 7: 34 (1857)

Not 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. [Cited as Colocasia gigantea.]


Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Ara, H. & Hassan, M.A. (2006). Three new records of Aroids (Araceae) from Bangladesh. Bangladesh Journal of Plant Taxonomy 13: 83-91.
  • Boyce, P.C., Sookchaloem, D., Hetterscheid, W.L.A., Gusman, G., Jacobsen, N., Idei, T. & Nguyen, V.D. (2012). Flora of Thailand 11(2): 101-325. The Forest Herbarium, National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, Bangkok.
  • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2010). Flora of China 23: 1-515. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.

  • Art and Illustrations in Digifolia

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • 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

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • 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.

  • Kew Science Photographs

    Copyright applied to individual images