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Alocasia macrorrhizos


Alocasia macrorrhizos

Family Name: Araceae
Common Name: Giant Taro, Greater Alocasia, Birah Negeri, Elephant's Ear


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Growth Form Shrub
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Tropical Asia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Agricultural Land, Secondary Rainforest, Riverine, Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Spontaneous (Naturalised))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A glabrous herbaceous plant, growing up to 5 m tall. 
Foliage Arranged in rosettes, ascending; leaf blades are flattened, pointing upwards, measures 25 - 50 cm by 20 - 35 cm, green in colour, slightly glossy, arrow-shaped, apex acute, base hastate, margin wavy, petiole measuring 60 - 100 cm long.
Stems Acaulescent, has a short corm, produces sap and has an elongated caudex as it grows. 
Flowers Inflorescences, enfolded by bracts; peduncles are 20 - 45 cm long, spathe white - yellowish green with 15 - 35 cm long, lower part folds into a green tube; spadix 11 - 32 cm long, pistil 3 -4 cm long and 1.5 cm thick.
Fruits Fleshy berry, globose or ovoid in shape, turns red when matures.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Storage Organs)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : In Southeastern Asia (eg: India, Bangladesh and Malaysia) the tuberous stem is peeled and cooked as vegetable in stews. )

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Pond / Lake / River
Usage Hazard - Cons Toxic Upon Ingestion
Usage Hazard - Cons Remarks Requires prolonged preparation and boiling to get rid of calcium oxalate crystals.

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water
Propagation Method Seed, Storage Organ (Corm, Tuberous Stem), Sucker


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Glossy / Shiny
Foliar Modification Storage Organ
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Rosulate / Rosette
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate)
Foliar Margin Entire - Wavy / Undulate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Hastate
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Inflorescence Type Spathe & Spadix

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red
Mature Seed Colour(s) Brown

Image Repository



Master ID 340
Species ID 1636
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: 20 April 2020.