Herbaceous plant (Colocasia esculenta) of the arum family, probably native to Southeast Asia and taken to the Pacific islands. It is a staple crop cultivated for its large, starchy, spherical tubers, which, though poisonous raw, become edible with heating. They are consumed as a cooked vegetable or are made into puddings, breads, or Polynesian poi (a thin, pasty, highly digestible mass of fermented taro starch). Poi is a staple food in Hawaii. The large leaves (also poisonous raw) of the taro are commonly eaten stewed.
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