Arisaema fouyou H.Lév.
Caladium giganteum Blume
Colocasia prunipes K.Koch & C.D.Bouché
Leucocasia gigantea (Blume) Schott
A five-month old plant (Thailand Giant Strain) grown from a seedling - they can get even larger!
Photograph by: Brian Williams
Colocasia gigantea is an erect, evergreen, perennial, stemless plant producing a cluster of large leaves from an underground rhizome. It can be up to 4 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. Often grown as an ornamental in warmer climates, it is also occasionally cultivated as a food plant in southeast Asia.
The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals. These cause an extremely unpleasant sensation similar to needles being stuck into the mouth and tongue if they are eaten, but they are easily neutralized by thoroughly drying or cooking the plant or by steeping it in water.
The plant produces hydrocyanic acid[
]. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
E. Asia - southern China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Lower mountainous regions, in shady and moist sites, at elevations up to 1,000 metres[
]. Valley forests, limestone-associated, usually on moist but well-drained sites at elevations up to 700 metres in southern China[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
The leaf stems are cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
]. It can be up to 150cm long[
Fruit - raw. Easten as a snack[
]. The fruits smell like Alpinia malaccensis (Burm.f.) Roscoe, and are used as a flavouring[
]. The fruit is an oblongoid berry, about 10mm long[
The plant contains a latex[
]. No uses are mentioned.
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