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Alocasia cucullata


Alocasia cucullata

Family Name: Araceae
Common Name: Chinese Taro, Hooded Dwarf Elephant Ear


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution China

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A clumping evergreen herb, growing up to 1 m tall. 
Foliage Leaf blade broadly ovate to cordate, measuring 10 - 40 cm by 7 - 25 cm; base cordate; apex acute.
Stems Upright growing stems, hypogeal.
Flowers Inflorescence solitary although sometimes paired; peduncle 20 - 30 cm; spathe is green, measuring 9 - 15 cm; spadix is yellowish-white, measuring 8 - 15 cm.
Fruits Berry, subglobose, red when ripens, measures 6 - 8 mm in diameter.
Cultivation This species can grow under full sun to deep shade and tolerates waterlogged soils. However, it should not be grown submerged under water.   
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Stems)
Medicinal ( The corms are eaten to cure rheumatism and aches. However, they have to be cooked thoroughly in order to break down the calcium-oxalate crystals which are poisonous. )
[Others]: In Asian countries, this species is sometimes called ‘Buddha’s Hand’, because the large leaves are thought to resemble Buddha’s hands. Some people in Thailand and Laos grow this plant in front of their house, because they believe it brings good fortune.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Basal
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Cordate)
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Cordate
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Inflorescence Type Spathe & Spadix

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 336
Species ID 1632
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 24 November 2020.