Clear Mountain Garden Treasures
 

Clear Mountain Garden TreasuresGiant Taro

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rhizome
A usually horizontal stem (sometimes underground)
that grows new roots and shoots along its length
see also Bulbs, Corms and Tubers.
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rhizome
A usually horizontal stem (sometimes underground)
that grows new roots and shoots along its length
see also Bulbs, Corms and Tubers.
Hide
Giant Taro

Fruit
Family Araceae
Name Alocasia macrorrhizos
Common Name Giant Taro
Etymology
Alocasia From Greek a- meaning not, and Greek locasia meaning lotus roots, referring to its similarity to Colocasia, another taro-like aroid.
macrorrhizos From Greek macros meaning big, and Greek rhiza meaning roots, referring to its big rhizomes..

  See also:  Ornamentals

This arum grows the world's largest undivided leaf, up to 3 metres in length and 2 metres wide, though in cultivation, 1.5 metres is more common. The stems can grow to 2m and up to 15cm thick. This is truely a plant of gigantic proportions, that imparts a sub-tropical feel to any garden. In the summer, it produces numerous cream coloured flowers, which are then followed by green "fruits" that burst open to reveal bright red berries.

The leaves are tender and will be burnt by the slightest frost. However, they soon regenerate from the stem. With age, the stem will bend towards the ground and will soon put down roots.

The rhizome and leaves of the giant taro are used by some Pacific Islanders as food, but requires extensive cooking to destroy the toxins they contain. The unprocessed plant contains acrid toxins that can cause painful and potentially dangerous reactions if eaten. Caution is advised if you are growing this plant for food.



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