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Datasheet

Alocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 12 March 2014
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Alocasia macrorrhizos
  • Preferred Common Name
  • giant taro
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • A. macrorrhizos is a fast-growing herbaceous plant, growing up to 5 m in height, which has been intentionally introduced in many tropical and subtropical regions to be used as an ornamental, food crop, and animal feed (Léon, 1987; Manner, 2011). I...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Alocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); habit. Puerto Rico.
TitleHabit
CaptionAlocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); habit. Puerto Rico.
Copyright©Smithsonian Institution/Pedro Acevedo-Rodriguez
Alocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); habit. Puerto Rico.
HabitAlocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); habit. Puerto Rico.©Smithsonian Institution/Pedro Acevedo-Rodriguez
Alocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); habit - note person on right for scale. Kahanu Garden NTBG Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012
TitleHabit
CaptionAlocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); habit - note person on right for scale. Kahanu Garden NTBG Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2012
Alocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); habit - note person on right for scale. Kahanu Garden NTBG Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012
HabitAlocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); habit - note person on right for scale. Kahanu Garden NTBG Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012©Forest & Kim Starr-2012
Alocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); close view of large leaf. Kahanu Garden NTBG Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012
TitleLeaf
CaptionAlocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); close view of large leaf. Kahanu Garden NTBG Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2012 - CC BY 3.0
Alocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); close view of large leaf. Kahanu Garden NTBG Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012
LeafAlocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); close view of large leaf. Kahanu Garden NTBG Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012©Forest & Kim Starr-2012 - CC BY 3.0
Alocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); flowering habit.
TitleHabit
CaptionAlocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); flowering habit.
Copyright©Fanghong/Wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Alocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); flowering habit.
HabitAlocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); flowering habit.©Fanghong/Wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Alocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); fruit at Kahanu Garden NTBG Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012
TitleFruit
CaptionAlocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); fruit at Kahanu Garden NTBG Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2012 - CC BY 3.0
Alocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); fruit at Kahanu Garden NTBG Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012
FruitAlocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro or ape); fruit at Kahanu Garden NTBG Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012©Forest & Kim Starr-2012 - CC BY 3.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Alocasia macrorrhizos (L.) G. Don

Preferred Common Name

  • giant taro

Other Scientific Names

  • Alocasia cordifolia (Bory) Cordem.
  • Alocasia indica (Lour.) Spach
  • Alocasia indica var. diversifolia Engl.
  • Alocasia indica var. heterophylla Engl.
  • Alocasia indica var. metallica (Schott) Schott
  • Alocasia indica var. rubra (Hassk.) Engl
  • Alocasia indica var. typica Engl.
  • Alocasia indica var. variegata (K.Koch & C.D.Bouché) Engl.
  • Alocasia macrorrhizos var. rubra (Hassk.) Furtado
  • Alocasia macrorrhizos var. variegata (K.Koch & C.D.Bouché) Furtado
  • Alocasia marginata N.E.Br.
  • Alocasia metallica Schott
  • Alocasia montana (Roxb.) Schott
  • Alocasia pallida K.Koch & C.D.Bouché
  • Alocasia rapiformis (Roxb.) Schott
  • Alocasia uhinkii Engl. & K.Krause
  • Alocasia variegata K.Koch & C.D.Bouché
  • Arum cordifolium Bory
  • Arum indicum Lour
  • Arum macrorrhizon L.
  • Arum montanum Roxb.
  • Arum mucronatum Lam.
  • Arum peregrinum L.
  • Arum rapiforme Roxb.
  • Caladium macrorrhizon (L.) R.Br.
  • Caladium metallicum Engl.
  • Caladium odoratum Lodd.
  • Calla badian Blanco
  • Calla maxima Blanco
  • Colocasia boryi Kunth
  • Colocasia indica (Lour.) Kunth
  • Colocasia indica var. rubra Hassk.
  • Colocasia macrorrhizos (L.) Schott
  • Colocasia montana (Roxb.) Kunth
  • Colocasia mucronata (Lam.) Kunth
  • Colocasia peregrina (L.) Raf.
  • Colocasia rapiformis (Roxb.) Kunth
  • Philodendron peregrinum (L.) Kunth
  • Philodendron punctatum Kunth
  • Alocasia macrorrhiza (L.) Schott

International Common Names

  • English: Egyptian lily; elephant's ear; giant alocasia; western yam; wild taro
  • Spanish: camacho; malanga; yautía
  • French: alocasie; songe blanc; songe sauvage
  • Chinese: re ya hai yu

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: inhame-açú; orelha de elefante; taioba; taioba-branco
  • Cook Islands: kape
  • Costa Rica: hoja de pato; pato
  • Cuba: malanga de jardín
  • Fiji: via nganga; viadidi; viamila; viandini; viandranu; viasori
  • Germany: Tropenwurz, Indische
  • Hawaii: ‘ape
  • India: mankachu
  • Indonesia: bira; mael; sente
  • Laos: kaph’uk
  • Lesser Antilles: giant tayo
  • Malaysia: birah negeri; keladi sebaring
  • Myanmar: pein-mohawaya
  • New Caledonia: aware; ica; kape; kaxete; koe; kowe; moerere; peka; pia; pidu; poaere; twowe; wave
  • New Guinea: paragum
  • Philippines: aba; aba-aba; badiang; bagiang; biga
  • Puerto Rico: yautía cimarrona
  • Thailand: hora; kradatdam
  • Vietnam: khoais

EPPO code

  • ALDMA (Alocasia macrorrhiza)

Summary of Invasiveness

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A. macrorrhizos is a fast-growing herbaceous plant, growing up to 5 m in height, which has been intentionally introduced in many tropical and subtropical regions to be used as an ornamental, food crop, and animal feed (Léon, 1987; Manner, 2011). It has the capability to reproductive sexually by seeds and vegetatively by corms, tubers, and root suckers and it is able grow in a great variety of substrates and habitats ranging from full sun to deep shaded areas (Flach and Rumawas, 1996). It is listed as invasive in Cuba, New Zealand, and several islands in the Pacific including Hawaii, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Palau (Sykes, 1970; Smith, 1979; Wagner et al., 1999; Space et al., 2009; Florence et al., 2011; González-Torres et al., 2012; PIER, 2012) and it is considered a weed in Vietnam (Koo et al., 2000).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Arales
  •                         Family: Araceae
  •                             Genus: Alocasia
  •                                 Species: Alocasia macrorrhizos

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Araceae is a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants comprising about 117 genera and 4095 species distributed mostly in tropical areas in the New World, but also in Australia, Africa-Madagascar, and north temperate regions (Stevens, 2012). The genus Alocasia includes about 70 species native to the Old World tropics and subtropics (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005). A. macrorrhizos is widely cultivated around the world, mainly in tropical and subtropical regions (Randall, 2012).

Description

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A. macrorrhizos is a glabrous, terrestrial herb, normally around 1-1.5 m tall but growing up to 5 m (Manner, 2011). Plants are acaulescent with a short, conical corm, produce watery sap and develop an elongated caudex with age. Leaves are arranged in a rosette, ascending; blades flattened, ascending, with basal sinus projecting downward, 25-50 (-100) × 20-36 (-100) cm, green (although white-variegated in some cultivars), slightly lustrous, lance-ovate, coriaceous, wavy or slightly plicate along secondary veins, the apex acute or obtuse and apiculate, the base hastate, the sinuses non-overlapping, up to 30 cm long, the margins wavy, with a submarginal vein within 2 mm from the margin; mid-vein broad and conspicuous with 4-7 primary lateral veins per side; lower surface with dark spots on secondary vein angles; petioles 60-100 cm long. Two or more inflorescences subtended by brachts. Peduncles 20-45 cm long; spathe a whitish to yellowish green, oblong tube; spadix 11-32 cm, pistil 3-4 cm long and about 1.5 cm thick. Fruit a fleshy berry, red when mature, globose or ovoid (Flach and Rumawas, 1996; Wagner et al., 1999; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005).

Plant Type

Top of pageHerbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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A. macrorrhizos is native to Malesia (including Peninsular Malaysia, the Philippines and parts of Indonesia), Queensland and the Solomon Islands. Currently it is widely distributed and naturalized in many tropical and subtropical regions in North, Central and South America, the West Indies, tropical Africa and the Indo-Pacific Islands (Wagner et al., 1999; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005; Govaerts, 2012; PIER, 2012; USDA-ARS, 2012).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

CountryDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferencesNotes

ASIA

BangladeshPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
BhutanPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
China
-ChongqingPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
-HainanPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
-Hong KongPresentWu, 2001
-SichuanPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
-TianjinPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
IndiaPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
-Andhra PradeshPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
-Arunachal PradeshPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
-AssamPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
-DelhiPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
-DiuPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
-SikkimPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
IndonesiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012Native in Borneo
-JavaPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
-KalimantanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012
-MoluccasPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
-Nusa TenggaraPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
-SulawesiPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
-SumatraPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
Malaysia
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012
PhilippinesPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012
Sri LankaPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
TaiwanPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
ThailandPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
VietnamPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012; Koo et al., 2000Considered a weed by Koo et al.

AFRICA

GuineaPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
SeychellesPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012

NORTH AMERICA

USA
-FloridaPresentIntroducedWunderlin & Hansen, 2008
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedInvasiveWagner et al., 1999Cultivated, and escaped into natural areas
-TexasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2012

CENTRAL AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN

Antigua and BarbudaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012
Costa RicaPresentIntroducedHammel et al., 2003Cultivated and escaped
CubaPresentIntroducedInvasiveGonzález-Torres et al., 2012
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012
GrenadaPresentAcevedo-Rodríguez, (pers. observ.)Cultivated
HaitiPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012
HondurasPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
NicaraguaPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
PanamaPresentAcevedo-Rodríguez, (pers. observ.)Cultivated
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedInvasiveAcevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2005Potentially invasive (Acevedo-Rodríguez, pers. observ).
Saint LuciaPresentIntroducedGraveson, 2012Cultivated
United States Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2005

SOUTH AMERICA

BrazilPresentIntroducedLeón, 1987Intentionally introduced to feed farm animals (pigs)
Ecuador
-Galapagos IslandsPresentIntroducedCharles Darwin Foundation, 2008Isabela, San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, Sierra Negra
ParaguayPresentIntroducedZuloaga et al., 2008
PeruPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
SurinamePresentIntroducedFunk et al., 2007Cultivated, escaped
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012

OCEANIA

American SamoaPresentIntroducedRagone & Lorence, 2003Aboriginal introduction
Australia
-QueenslandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012
Cook IslandsPresentIntroducedMcCormack, 2007Aboriginal introduction
FijiPresentIntroducedInvasiveSmith, 1979Aboriginal introduction
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveFlorence et al., 2011Cultivated, escaped
GuamPresentIntroducedStone, 1970
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasiveFosberg et al., 1987
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentIntroducedInvasiveHerrera et al., 2010Cultivated. Invasive on Pohnpei, Fais, and Satawal Islands
New CaledoniaPresentIntroducedInvasiveMacKee, 1994
New ZealandPresentIntroducedInvasiveSykes, 1970Offshore islands: Raoul Islands, Kermadec Islands
NiuePresentIntroducedSykes, 1970Cultivated
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroducedFosberg et al., 1987Aboriginal introduction
PalauPresentIntroducedInvasiveSpace et al., 2009Cultivated, escaped
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
Pitcairn IslandPresentIntroducedPIER, 2012
SamoaPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
Solomon IslandsPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012
TongaPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
TuvaluPresentIntroducedPIER, 2012
VanuatuPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentIntroducedMeyer, 2007Cultivated

History of Introduction and Spread

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A. macrorrhizos has been intentionally introduced as an ornamental, food crop, and for animal feed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world (Léon, 1987; Manner, 2011). The year of introduction in these regions is very difficult to determine and in many cases it was introduced into new areas by aboriginal groups (without written records), complicating the possibilities of tracking the introduction path.

It has been suggested that A. macrorrhizos was introduced into America through Brazil at the beginning of the twentieth century to feed pigs (Léon, 1987; Gómez, 2001). In the West Indies, the oldest records of this species are from herbarium collections made in 1925 in Haiti, 1930 in the Dominican Republic, and 1938 in Puerto Rico (Smithsonian Herbarium Collection).

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of introduction of A. macrorrhizos is moderate to high. It is a fast growing herb widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of the world and it has the potential to become invasive (Randall, 2012; PIER, 2012) near to cultivated areas. It has escaped from gardens and cultivated lands and has been reported as naturalized in natural forests.

Habitat

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A. macrorrhizos is common and widely distributed in cultivated lands, waste places, old gardens, mesic valleys, low moist disturbed and secondary forests, along riverbanks and streams from sea level to 600-800 metres in tropical and subtropical warm climates (Smith, 1979; Wagner et al., 1999; Manner, 2011). In Puerto Rico this species is a common herb along roads bordered by moist secondary forests, abandoned farms, along streams and riverbanks (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005).

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial-managed
Cultivated / agricultural landPresent, no further detailsNatural
Cultivated / agricultural landPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
Disturbed areasPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areasPresent, no further detailsNatural
Managed forests, plantations and orchardsPresent, no further detailsNatural
Managed forests, plantations and orchardsPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
Urban / peri-urban areasPresent, no further detailsNatural
Urban / peri-urban areasPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
RiverbanksPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
RiverbanksPresent, no further detailsNatural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Chromosome number in A. macrorrhizos is 2n=28 (Bhattacharya, 1974). 

Reproductive Biology

In Araceae, flowers are borne on a type of inflorescence called a “spadix”, which is usually accompanied by a spathe or leaf-like bract (Stevens, 2012). Flowers in Alocasia are pollinated by insects. For example, in Borneo, flowers of A. macrorrhizos are pollinated by Colocasiomyia flies and a syndrome of pollination mutualism has been described (Takano et al., 2012). Within its native range, A. macrorrhizos reproduces sexually by seed, and vegetatively by tubers and root suckers. However, in Puerto Rico this species is not known to flower and plants mainly spread vegetatively (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012). 

Longevity

For cultivated A. macrorrhizos, the crop life is usually 12–18 months, but harvesting can be delayed for up to 4 years. Plants can live for several years and flowering occurs sometime during the second year of growth (Manner, 2011). 

Environmental Requirements

A. macrorrhizos prefers to grow in humid tropical and sub­tropical climates with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C and more than 1700 mm of rainfall at elevations from sea level to 600-800 metres (Smith, 1979; Wagner et al., 1999). Temperatures below 10°C are detrimental to its growth (Kay, 1987). The species can be found growing in a wide variety of soil types, ranging from freely drained sandy soils to deep, well drained clayey soils, but it does not tolerate waterlogged soils. A. macrorrhizos has the capability to grow in habitats ranging from full sunlight to deep shade and also tolerates up to 4 months of drought (Flach and Rumawas, 1996). Consequently it can be found growing in limestone rocky soils with low water holding capacity and holes in the exposed limestone substrate (Manner, 2011).

 

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climatePreferred> 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climatePreferredTropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summerPreferred< 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climatePreferred< 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summerToleratedWarm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers

Air Temperature

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ParameterLower limitUpper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC)2331

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration04number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall15005000mm; lower/upper limits

Rain Regime

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Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • shallow

Natural Enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Agrotis ipsilonHerbivoreAll Stagesnot specific
CercosporaPathogenAll Stagesnot specific
Glomerella cingulataPathogenAll Stagesnot specific
Hippotion celerioHerbivoreAll Stagesnot specific
MacrophomaPathogenAll Stagesnot specific
Mycosphaerella alocasiaePathogenAll Stagesnot specific
PestalotiopsisPathogenAll Stagesnot specific
PhomaPathogenAll Stagesnot specific
Phytophthora colocasiaePathogenAll Stagesnot specific
Spodoptera lituraHerbivoreAll Stagesnot specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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According to Kay (1987), A. macrorrhizos is resistant to most pests and diseases affecting the aroid family. For islands in the Pacific, where this species is commonly cultivated, pests include the black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon), taro sphinx moth (Hippotion celerio), and the cluster caterpillar (Spodoptera litura). Diseases caused by Cladosporium colocasiae and Mycosphaerella colocasiae are reported as “minor” (Manner, 2011).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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A. macrorrhizos reproduces sexually by seeds and also vegetatively by corms, tubers, and root suckers (Wagner et al., 1999; Manner, 2011). However, the most common form of propagation (mostly outside its native distribution range) is vegetatively. Tubers, corms, and root suckers easily re-spread producing new plants which in less than one year are complete developed. In addition, tubers and corm can remain on the ground for several months waiting for suitable environmental conditions to sprout (Manner, 2011). Corms and tubers can be propagated by movement of soil by vehicles and farming machinery.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
AgriculturePlanted for human consumptionYesYesManner, 2011
Escape from confinement/ garden escapeOccasionally planted as ornamentalYesYesManner, 2011
ForageUsed to feed farm animalsYesYesHammel et al., 2003; León, 1987
Ornamental purposesYesYesManner, 2011
People foragingYesManner, 2011

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesEasily propagated by tubers or suckersYesYesManner, 2011
Soil, sand, gravel etc.Corms and tubersYesYes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihoodPositive and negative
Environment (generally)Positive and negative

Environmental Impact

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A. macrorrhizos is an invasive fast-growing herbaceous plant with the potential to displace native vegetation (PIER, 2012). This species has become naturalized outside its native distribution range and is listed as invasive species in Cuba, New Zealand, and several islands in the Pacific including Hawaii, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Palau where it is affecting native vegetation mainly in moist secondary forests and along stream and river banks (Sykes, 1970; Smith, 1979; Wagner et al., 1999; Space et al., 2009; Florence et al., 2011; González-Torres et al., 2012; PIER, 2012). In Vietnam, this species is listed as a weed and represents a problem in lowland rainforests (Koo et al., 2000).

Risk and Impact Factors

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Impact mechanisms

  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting

Impact outcomes

  • Monoculture formation
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species

Invasiveness

  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Fast growing
  • Has a broad native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc

Likelihood of entry/control

  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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A. macrorrhizos is mainly cultivated for its starchy stem tubers. In the Pacific islands, the stem tubers are roasted, baked, or boiled and eaten as a source of starch. In southeastern Asia (i.e., India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia) the stem tuber is peeled, cut into pieces and eaten as a vegetable after cooking, usually in curries or stews (Manner, 2011). In times of scarcity, this species is used as a famine food (Wagner et al., 1999). The underground corms and leaves are used for food after cooking. In tropical America this species has been used to feed pigs and farm animals (Léon, 1987; Gómez, 2001). A. macrorrhizos has been also used as an ornamental (Kay 1987) and in traditional medicine in India and the Pacific islands.

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Forage

General

  • Botanical garden/zoo
  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Emergency (famine) food
  • Flour/starch
  • Root crop
  • Vegetable

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • Propagation material

Prevention and Control

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Mechanical removal of A. macrorrhizos is effective but is labour intensive. All corms and tubers should be removed to prevent spread into new areas. Dense stands should be removed using specialized machinery.

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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  1. Studies on the history of introduction of this species are highly recommended.
  2. Studies evaluating the impact of this exotic species on native plants and natural communities are needed in order to develop appropriate management and control strategies.
  3. Recommendations for management and control in natural areas invaded by this species are also needed.

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2005. Monocots and Gymnosperms of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, volume 52:415 pp.

Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, 98:1192 pp. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Bhattacharya GN, 1974. Cytological studies in the genus Alocasia. In: Advancing Frontiers in Cytogenetics [ed. by Kachroo, P.]. Delhi, India: Hindustan Co., 118-122.

Bown D, 2000. Aroids: plants of the Arum family, Ed.2. Portland, USA: Timber Press, 392 pp.

Britton NL, 1924. Botany of Porto Rico and Virgin Islands. Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and Virgin Islands. New York, USA: New York Academy of Sciences, 200 pp.

Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. Galapagos, Ecuador: Charles Darwin Foundation.

Flach M, Rumawas F, 1996. Plant Resources of South-east Asia No. 9. Plants yielding non-seed carbohydrates. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers, 237 pp.

Florence J, Chevillotte H, Ollier C, Meyer JY, 2011. [English title not available]. (Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP).) . http://www.herbier-tahiti.pf

Fosberg FR, Sachet M-H, Oliver R, 1987. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian monocotyledonae. Micronesia 20: 1-2, 19-129.

Funk V, Hollowell T, Berry P, Kelloff C, Alexander SN, 2007. Checklist of the plants of the Guiana Shield (Venezuela: Amazonas, Bolivar, Delta Amacuro; Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana). Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, 584 pp.

Gómez ME, 2001. [English title not available]. (Una revisión sobre el Bore (Alocasia macrorrhizos).) In: Agroforestería para la produccion animal en América Latina-II [ed. by Sánchez, M. D. \Rosales Méndez, M.]. Rome, Italy: Dirección de Producción y Sanidad Animal-FAO, 203-212.

González-Torres LR, Rankin R, Palmarola A (eds), 2012. Invasive plants in Cuba. (Plantas Invasoras en Cuba.) Bissea: Boletin sobre Conservacion de Plantad del Jardin Botanico Nacional, 6:1-140.

Govaerts R, 2012. World Checklist of Araceae. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/

Graveson R, 2012. Plants of Saint Lucia. http://www.saintlucianplants.com

Hammel BE, Grayum MH, Herrera C, Zamora N, 2003. Manual de plantas de Costa Rica v. 3. Monocotyledoneas (Orchidaceae-Zingiberaceae). St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.

Herrera K, Lorence DH, Flynn T, Balick MJ, 2010. Checklist of the vascular plants of Pohnpei with local names and uses. Lawai, Hawaii, USA: National Tropical Botanical Garden, 146 pp.

Kay DE, 1987. Root Crops. London, UK: Tropical Development and Research Institute.

Koo SK, Chin YW, Kwon YW, Cung HA, 2000. Common Weeds in Vietnam., Vietnam: Agriculture Publishing House.

León J, 1987. Botánica de los cultivos tropicales. Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura, San José, Costa Rica.

MacKee HS, 1994. Catalogue of introduced and cultivated plants in New Caledonia. (Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie.) Paris, France: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, unpaginated.

Manner HI, 2011. Farm and Forestry Production and Marketing Profile for Giant Taro (Alocasia macrorrhiza). Specialty Crops for Pacific Island Agroforestry [ed. by Elevitch, C. R.]. Holualoa, Hawaii, USA: Permanent Agriculture Resources (PAR). http://agroforestry.net/scps

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Meyer JY, 2007. Rapport de mission sur l'Ile d'Uvea (Wallis & Futuna) du 6 au 17 Novembre 2007: Inventaire preliminaire de la flore vasculaire secondaire ([English title not available]). Papeete, Tahiti: Ministère de l'Education, l'Enseignement Supérieur et la Recherche, 39 pp. http://www.li-an.fr/jyves/Meyer_2007_Rapport_Plantes_Introduites_Wallis.pdf

Oviedo Prieto R, Herrera Oliver P, Caluff MG, et al., 2012. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2011. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba, 6(Special Issue 1):22-96.

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Links to Websites

Top of page
WebsiteURLComment
Flora of the West Indieshttp://botany.si.edu/antilles/WestIndies/
Angiosperm Phylogeny Websitehttp://www.mobot.org/mobot/research/apweb/
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html
Specialty Crops for Pacific Island Agroforestryhttp://agroforestry.net/scps
ASEAN Tropical Plant Databasehttp://211.114.21.20/tropicalplant/html/introduction01.html

Contributors

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18/04/13 Original text by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Distribution Maps

Top of page
Distribution map Antigua and Barbuda: Present, introduced
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012American Samoa: Present, introduced
Ragone & Lorence, 2003Australia
See regional map for distribution within the countryBangladesh: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Brazil: Present, introduced
León, 1987Bhutan: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Cook Islands: Present, introduced
McCormack, 2007China
See regional map for distribution within the countryChina
See regional map for distribution within the countryChina
See regional map for distribution within the countryChina
See regional map for distribution within the countryChina
See regional map for distribution within the countryCosta Rica: Present, introduced
Hammel et al., 2003Costa Rica: Present, introduced
Hammel et al., 2003Cuba: Present, introduced, invasive
González-Torres et al., 2012Cuba: Present, introduced, invasive
González-Torres et al., 2012Dominican Republic: Present, introduced
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012Dominican Republic: Present, introduced
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012Ecuador
See regional map for distribution within the countryFiji: Present, introduced, invasive
Smith, 1979Micronesia, Federated states of: Present, introduced, invasive
Herrera et al., 2010Grenada: PresentGuinea: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Guam: Present, introduced
Stone, 1970Honduras: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Honduras: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Haiti: Present, introduced
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012Haiti: Present, introduced
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012Indonesia: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Indonesia: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Indonesia
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndonesia
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndonesia
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndonesia
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndonesia
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndonesia
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndonesia
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndonesia
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndia: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012India
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndia
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndia
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndia
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndia
See regional map for distribution within the countryIndia
See regional map for distribution within the countrySaint Lucia: Present, introduced
Graveson, 2012Sri Lanka: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Marshall Islands: Present, introduced, invasive
Fosberg et al., 1987Northern Mariana Islands: Present, introduced
Fosberg et al., 1987Malaysia
See regional map for distribution within the countryNew Caledonia: Present, introduced, invasive
MacKee, 1994Nicaragua: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Nicaragua: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Nicaragua: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Niue: Present, introduced
Sykes, 1970New Zealand: Present, introduced, invasive
Sykes, 1970Panama: PresentPanama: PresentPeru: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012French Polynesia: Present, introduced, invasive
Florence et al., 2011Papua New Guinea: Present, native
Govaerts, 2012Papua New Guinea: Present, native
Govaerts, 2012Philippines: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Philippines: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Pitcairn Island: Present, introduced
PIER, 2012Puerto Rico: Present, introduced, invasive
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2005Puerto Rico: Present, introduced, invasive
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2005Palau: Present, introduced, invasive
Space et al., 2009Palau: Present, introduced, invasive
Space et al., 2009Paraguay: Present, introduced
Zuloaga et al., 2008Solomon Islands: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Seychelles: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Suriname: Present, introduced
Funk et al., 2007Suriname: Present, introduced
Funk et al., 2007Thailand: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Tonga: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Tuvalu: Present, introduced
PIER, 2012Taiwan: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Taiwan: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012USA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryVenezuela: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Venezuela: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012United States Virgin Islands: Present, introduced
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2005Vietnam: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012; Koo et al., 2000Vanuatu: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Wallis and Futuna Islands: Present, introduced
Meyer, 2007Samoa: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012
  • = Present, no further details
  • = Evidence of pathogen
  • = Widespread
  • = Last reported
  • = Localised
  • = Presence unconfirmed
  • = Confined and subject to quarantine
  • = See regional map for distribution within the country
  • = Occasional or few reports
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Distribution map (asia) Bangladesh: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Bhutan: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Chongqing: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Hainan: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Hong Kong: Present
Wu, 2001Sichuan: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Tianjin: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Indonesia: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Java: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Kalimantan: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Moluccas: Present, native
Govaerts, 2012Sulawesi: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Sumatra: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012India: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Andhra Pradesh: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Arunachal Pradesh: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Assam: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Delhi: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Diu: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Sikkim: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Sri Lanka: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Peninsular Malaysia: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Papua New Guinea: Present, native
Govaerts, 2012Philippines: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Palau: Present, introduced, invasive
Space et al., 2009Thailand: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Taiwan: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Vietnam: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012; Koo et al., 2000
Distribution map (europe)
Distribution map (africa) Guinea: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Seychelles: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012
Distribution map (north america) Cuba: Present, introduced, invasive
González-Torres et al., 2012Dominican Republic: Present, introduced
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012Honduras: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Haiti: Present, introduced
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012Nicaragua: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Puerto Rico: Present, introduced, invasive
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2005Florida: Present, introduced
Wunderlin & Hansen, 2008Hawaii: Present, introduced, invasive
Wagner et al., 1999Texas: Present, introduced
USDA-NRCS, 2012
Distribution map (central america) Antigua and Barbuda: Present, introduced
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012Costa Rica: Present, introduced
Hammel et al., 2003Cuba: Present, introduced, invasive
González-Torres et al., 2012Dominican Republic: Present, introduced
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012Grenada: PresentHonduras: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Haiti: Present, introduced
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2012Saint Lucia: Present, introduced
Graveson, 2012Nicaragua: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Panama: PresentPuerto Rico: Present, introduced, invasive
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2005Suriname: Present, introduced
Funk et al., 2007Florida: Present, introduced
Wunderlin & Hansen, 2008Venezuela: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012United States Virgin Islands: Present, introduced
Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong, 2005
Distribution map (south america) Brazil: Present, introduced
León, 1987Costa Rica: Present, introduced
Hammel et al., 2003Galapagos Islands: Present, introduced
Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008Nicaragua: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Panama: PresentPeru: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Paraguay: Present, introduced
Zuloaga et al., 2008Suriname: Present, introduced
Funk et al., 2007Venezuela: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012
Distribution map (pacific) American Samoa: Present, introduced
Ragone & Lorence, 2003Queensland: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Cook Islands: Present, introduced
McCormack, 2007Fiji: Present, introduced, invasive
Smith, 1979Micronesia, Federated states of: Present, introduced, invasive
Herrera et al., 2010Guam: Present, introduced
Stone, 1970Indonesia: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Kalimantan: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Sulawesi: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Marshall Islands: Present, introduced, invasive
Fosberg et al., 1987Northern Mariana Islands: Present, introduced
Fosberg et al., 1987New Caledonia: Present, introduced, invasive
MacKee, 1994Niue: Present, introduced
Sykes, 1970New Zealand: Present, introduced, invasive
Sykes, 1970French Polynesia: Present, introduced, invasive
Florence et al., 2011Papua New Guinea: Present, native
Govaerts, 2012Philippines: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Pitcairn Island: Present, introduced
PIER, 2012Palau: Present, introduced, invasive
Space et al., 2009Solomon Islands: Present, native
USDA-ARS, 2012Tonga: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Tuvalu: Present, introduced
PIER, 2012Taiwan: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Vanuatu: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012Wallis and Futuna Islands: Present, introduced
Meyer, 2007Samoa: Present, introduced
Govaerts, 2012