‘Ape (Elephant’s Ear, False Kalo) - Maui Ocean Center
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‘Ape (Elephant’s Ear, False Kalo)


Common name: Elephant ear 

Scientific name: Alocasia macrorrhizos

Where to Find: Lower elevations, mesic valleys near a water source 

Status: Indigenous 

‘Ape is so closely related to Kalo, and some people refer to it as “Giant Kalo.”  The distinguishing feature between Alocasia species vs. Colocasia species (kalo) is variation in the leaves.  Kalo leaves point down toward the Earth, whereas ‘Ape leaves point towards the sky.  The base of the ‘ape leaves are also pointed like an arrowhead, whereas the kalo leaves are rounded like a heart. 

There is a chemical inside of ‘Ape and Kalo called calcium oxalate that can cause irritation to anyone eating them raw / undercooked. ‘Ape can be eaten and prepped the same as Kalo, except it takes longer to cook, making it safe for consumption.

Did You Know?
‘Ape leaves are hydrophobic, which means that water droplets bead off with ease.