Just kidding. Alocasia are popular houseplants with beautiful heart-shaped leaves. Although they look strikingly like taro, they are not edible.
They are also not entirely like one another either. Some can tolerate more sun than others, while some are shade-only plants. All love high humidity, making them perfect for Hawaii’s climate. All told, there are about 90 known varieties, all from SE Asia and Oceania.
Taro belongs to same Araceae plant family as Alocasia but is part of the group Colocasia. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that the large leaves found on the alocasia plant point outwards or upwards, while the leaves on the colocasia (taro) plant droop downward. Again, these are generalities. If uncertain, do not eat. Alocasia produces a strong “itchy” reaction when eaten, even when well-cooked. Taro, while a staple in many places, must also be well-cooked and cannot be eaten raw.
Alocasia is a genuinely pretty houseplant. Let it get its moisture from the air and do not overwater or leave in direct sunlight, and it will grow quickly. Some plants put out a leaf a week in ideal conditions.