Alocasia indica Schott. Araideae. Pai.
East Indies and south Asia, South Sea Islands and east Australia. The underground stems constitute a valuable and important vegetable of the native dietary in India. The stems sometimes grow to an immense size and can be preserved for a considerable time, hence they are of great importance in jail dietary when fresh vegetables become scarce in the bazar or jail-garden. For its esculent stems and small, pendulous tubers of its root, it is cultivated in Bengal and is eaten by people of all ranks in their curries. In the Polynesian islands its large tuberous roots are eaten. Wilkes says the natives of the Kingsmill group of islands cultivate this species with great care. The root is said to grow to a very large size.
Alocasia macrorhiza Schott. Ape. Taro.
Tropics of Asia, Australia and the islands of the Pacific. The root is eaten in India, after being cooked, but it is inferior to that of A. esculentum The roots are also eaten in tropical America as well as by the people of New Caledonia, who cultivate it. It furnishes the roasting eddas of Jamaica and the tayoea of Brazil. It is the taro of New Holland, the roots of which, when roasted, afford a staple aliment to the natives. Wilkes states that this plant is the ape of the Tahitians and is cultivated as a vegetable.
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.