Which variety of Kalo is the best? The one that's in the bowl on the table. - Jeremy Konanui, Hawaiian Mahiai
Mana ‘Ele‘ele: Native variety; the descriptive name ‘Ele‘ele refers to the color of the Hā (Petiole). Mana refers to the branching of the Hā (stems) from the top of the ‘i‘o kalo (corm). Only the Mana varieties branch like this. Mana also means supernatural or divine power, miraculous power; a powerful nation, authority.
USE AS FOOD
Eaten mainly as table taro for home consumption. Makes excellent poi.
Limited, confined chiefly to the island of Hawai‘i; planted almost exclusively under māla (upland) culture.
Medium in height, erect, maturing within 9 to 12 months, producing two or three branches; as many as 6 to 7 ‘ohā from a corm, readily distinguished from other Mana by the blackish colored Hā (Petiole).
55 to 85 cm. long, purplish-black, pink to whitish at the lihi (stem edge), a dark reddish-purple ring at the kōhina (base) with lilac pink for 3 to 4 cm. above the base.
LAU OR LU'AU(LEAF BLADE)
35 to 50 cm. long, 25 to 40 cm. wide, 30 to 40 cm. from tip to base of sinus (māwae), egg-shaped (ovate), dark green; veins purplish on lower surface; round leaf section (lobes) acute with shallow lihi māwae (sinus).
I'O KALO (CORM)'
Flesh white tinged with lilac near the top (apex), with yellowish fibers; skin dark purple.
This variety is said to be the most drought-resistant of the Hawaiian taros.
*The # refers to CTAHR's bulletin 84 system.