Which variety of Kalo is the best? The one that's in the bowl on the table. - Jeremy Konanui, Hawaiian Mahiai
Lauloa Palakea ‘Ula: Native variety of comparatively recent origin, probably arising through natural genetic mutation from Lauloa Palakea ‘Ele‘ele. The suffix of ‘ula refers to the distinguishing pink color of the lihi (edge of the stem or petiole). Palakea refers to the soft, white consistency of the cooked ‘i‘o kalo (corm).
USE AS FOOD
Primarily as a table taro. Taro of Lauloa group were used by the early Hawaiians for medicinal purposes, chiefly in pulmonary disorders. They are now popular mainly as table taros and for poi.
Found occasionally among plantings of Lauloa Palakea ‘Ele‘ele.
Tall, erect, maturing within 9 to 12 months, producing from 5 to 10 ‘ohā; characterized by pinkish edge and white kōhina (base) of Hā (Petiole).
100 to 140 cm. long, dark green heavily spreading over the Hā (stem) with dark reddish purple color, especially on the upper half, purplish at the top (apex), white at the kōhina (base), with a distinct reddish-pink lihi (edge) to an almost white color.
LAU OR LU'AU(LEAF BLADE)
45 to 65 cm. long, .30 to 40 cm. wide, 35 to 50 cm. from tip to base of sinus (māwae), arrow head shaped, slightly concave (curve inward), dark green; margins with a few large undulations; piko purplish; veins dark purplish on lower surface of round leaf section (lobes); round leaf section (lobes) obtuse with narrow lihi māwae (sinus).
I'O KALO (CORM)'
Flesh chalky white with light yellowish fibers; skin yellowish.
*The # refers to CTAHR's bulletin 84 system.