coco yam, wild taro USDA PLANTS Symbol: COES
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Forbs/Herbs
Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott

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Taxonomic Rank: Liliopsida: Arales: Araceae
Synonym(s): elephant's ears, dasheen
Native Range: tropical Asia (BAIL); India, Southeast Asia ()

Appearance
Colocasia esculenta is a perennial forb that originates from a large corm and can grow to 4 ft. (1.5 m) in height.
Foliage
Leaves, supported by 3 ft. (1 m) long petioles, are arrowhead shaped, up to 2 ft. (0.6 m) long and 1.6 ft. (0.5 m) wide, peltate and velvety on the upper surface.
Flowers
Flowering seldom occurs outside of the native range. Flowers, when present, are small and densely crowded at the apex of a fleshy stalk.
Fruit
Plants spread vegetatively through rhizomes, stolons, offshoot corms or vegetative fragments. Fruit are small berries, but are rarely produced.
Ecological Threat
Colocasia esculenta can tolerate a wide range of wet to dry sites. It easily invades wetland edges, swamps, blackwater streams and riverine forests. Colocasia esculenta can form dense stands outcompeting native plants. It is native to Africa and was first brought to the Americas as a food crop for slaves. In 1910, Colocasia esculenta was also promoted as an alternative crop to potatoes by the USDA. There are similar native species and some similar exotic species but in all of these similar species their petioles attach to the margin of the leaf blades rather than in the middle as with Colocasia esculenta.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Plant(s);
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s); habit
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Stem(s);
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Victor Ramey, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s); habit
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Root(s);
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Root(s);
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s); habit
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Texas)



Invasive Listing Sources:
Alabama Invasive Plant Council
Archbold Biological Station
Faith Campbell, 1998
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council