University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
UH Seal The founding college of the University of Hawai‘i, established 1907 Site Search | Directory
Skip BreadcrumbHome >> Publications and Information Central >> Taro Varieties in Hawaii >> Taro Details


Other Names: Ekaeka

General Characteristics: Medium in height to tall, stiffly erect, stocky, maturing within 10 months, producing more than 20 oha which remain dormant for several weeks; outstanding among the Japanese taros because of the vivid petiole coloring.

Petiole: 60 to 90 cm. long, greenish-bronze shading into dark reddish-purple at base and apex, indistinctly edged, curved abruptly at apex so that blade hangs more or less vertically.

Leaf blade: 40 to 55 cm. long, 30 to 40 cm. wide, 35 to 45 cm. from tip to base of sinus, broadly ovate, firm-chartaceous, dark green with bluish cast, often tinged with purple on lower surface when young, with conspicuous purple veins on lower surface; piko prominent, purple; lobes acute with shallow, wide sinus.

Corm: Flesh white with yellowish fibers; skin purple; oha usually 4 to 6 cm. in diameter.

Origin, and derivation of name: Probably native of Japan; called Akado because of coloring of petioles. Ekaeka, meaning "dirty reddish," is the name given by the Hawaiians, probably also referring to the petiole coloring.

Distribution: Grown sparingly, almost entirely by Japanese gardeners in small patches, usually under upland culture.

Use: Oha used principally as table taro; petiole stalks sometimes sold as greens; sprouts from small oha grown in darkness sold in limited amount.

Remarks: The parent corms are edible but an aversion to them exists because of their extreme acridity. This variety is highly resistant to disease. It has the largest oha of the Japanese taros and probably has the best quality but is grown only to a limited extent because of its comparatively poor keeping quality.

If you require information in an alternative format, please contact us at: