Thursday, 18 August 2011


Alocasia is a genus of broad-leaved rhizomatous or tuberous perennials from the Family Araceae. There are 78 species  of Alocasia occurring in Tropical & Subtropical Asia to Eastern Australia and widely cultivated in Oceania and South America. The large cordate or sagittate leaves grow to a length of 20 to 90 cm on long petioles. Their beautiful araceous flowers grow at the end of a short stalk, but are not conspicuous; often hidden behind the leaf petioles.

The stem (a corm) is edible, but contains raphid or raphide crystals of oxalic acid that can numb and swell the tongue and pharynx resulting in difficult breathing, and sharp throat pain. The lower parts contain more of the poison. Prolonged boiling before serving or processing may reduce the risks but acidic fruit such as tamarind will dissolve them.