SCIENTIFIC NAME: Alocasia macrorrhiza
COMMON NAME(S): Giant elephant ear, taro
FAMILY: ARACEAE - Arum family
HABITAT: Cultivated landscapes, crop fields and some escapes
CHARACTERISTICS: Thick below ground rhizome; short, squat trunk sometimes formed.
LEAVES: 1.5-4' long, green or variegated white, pointed upwards, rounded at tip, hearted-shaped at base, wavy-margined
FLOWERS: Tiny, congested on a thick spike surrounded by a yellowish spathe bract
FLOWERING SEASON: Summer and fall
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Calcium oxalate
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: The juice of this plant can cause dermatitis due to high levels of calcium oxalate crystals in all of the plant's parts. The corm (rootstock) is specially prepared and eaten in tropical countries.