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Piko Kea

Piko Kea
General Characteristics: Medium in height, erect, moderately stocky, maturing within 15 to 18 months, producing from 5 to 10 oha; distinguished by light green petioles and pinkish base.

Petiole: 60 to 100 cm. long, light green, pinkish-red at edge, usually with adjacent dark green blotches especially near base, a pink ring at base with light pink for 3 to 4 cm. above.

Leaf blade: 30 to 45 cm. long, 25 to 35 cm. wide, 20 to 35 cm. from base of sinus to tip, ovate, nearly horizontal, light to dark green; piko whitish; lobes narrow and obtuse with narrow sinus.

Corm: Flesh white with pinkish apex and yellowish fibers; skin pale pink.

Inflorescence: Peduncle green; spathe 15 to 20 cm. long, the lower tubular constricted portion 3 to 4.5 cm. long, green, usually tinged with red at base, usually partially opened exposing ovaries, the upper portion deep yellow; spadix 5 to 6 cm. long, the sterile appendage about 4 mm. long.

Origin, and derivation of name: Native variety; Kea refers to the light green coloring of the petioles.

Distribution: Widely planted on all the islands, almost exclusively in wetland patches; although grown extensively in the lowlands, it appears to thrive better up toward the mountains where the water is cooler.

Use: A very important poi taro, particularly on Oahu.

Remarks: The corms have fairly firm texture and will absorb more water, in the preparation of paiai, than most varieties. The poi is light bluish-grey in color and of very good quality.