Colocasia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to southeastern Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Some species are widely cultivated and naturalized in other tropical and subtropical regions. Common names include karkala ko ganu, elephant-ear, pidalu, taro, cocoyam, dasheen, aloochi paane, saru, hembu, chamadhumpa/chamagadda in Telugu, shavige gadde, kochu in Bengali and eddoe. Elephant-ear and cocoyam are also used for some other large-leaved genera in the Araceae, notably Xanthosoma and Caladium. The generic name is derived from the ancient Greek word kolokasion, which in the Greek botanist Dioscorides (1st century AD) meant the edible roots of both Colocasia esculenta and Nelumbo nucifera. It is thought that the edible roots of Colocasia esculenta have been cultivated in Asia for more than ten thousand years. The species Colocasia esculenta is an invasive species in wetlands along the American Gulf coast, where it threatens to displace native wetland plants.
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