Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Monocotyledon Literature for Alocasia macrorrhizos
Wagner et al., 1990, 1999; Lorence & Wagner, 2019.
   Araceae -- The Aroid, Duckweed, Philodendron Family Bibliography
      Alocasia macrorrhizos

Common name(s): elephant's-ear plant, `ape
General Information
DistributionExact place of origin unknown, occurring from India and Sri Lanka through SE Asia to Polynesia, cultivated widely in the tropics.In the Hawaiian Islands, a Polynesian introduction on Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Maui, Hawai`i.

Large herb to 5 m tall; stems erect, to 1 m long and 20 cm in diameter.
Leaf blade ovate-triangular, anterior lobe 25‒120 cm long, 20‒90 cm wide, posterior lobes 12‒40 cm long, ¼‒½ as long as anterior lobe, primary lateral veins 4‒7 per side; petiole 75‒130 cm long, green or with brownish mottling, cataphylls persistent, 25‒95 cm long.
Inflorescences 2‒4 together in leaf axils, subtended by bracts, peduncle 20‒45 cm long; spathe whitish-green to yellowish, oblong, 13‒35 cm long, 4‒6 cm wide, constricted ca. 4 cm from base to form a tube to 2 cm in diameter, distal part deciduous or withering; spadix nearly as long as spathe, 11‒32 cm long, pistillate portion 1‒2.5 cm long, stigma 1.2‒1.3 mm in diameter; sterile staminate portion 0.5‒2 cm long, fertile staminate portion 2‒7 cm long, terminal appendage 7.5‒21 cm long.
Fruit pale orange to scarlet, ovoid or subglobose, 4‒10 mm long, 4‒8 mm in diameter.
Seeds pale brown, ovoid, c. 2 mm long.
2n = 26, 28, 42.
Cultivated widely in the tropics and used as a famine food in some areas.
David Lorence