Alocasia Genus

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OriginSubtropical Asia and Eastern Australia
ToxicToxic for humans, dogs and cats

Alocasia is a genus of rhizomatous or tuberous plants in the greater Araceae family. They are distinguished by their large cordate – with their leaves growing 20-90 centimeters in length.

Many species in the Alocasia genus are toxic as they contain raphide crystals (that constrain calcium oxalate) that can inflame and numb the tongue and throat – causing difficulty in breathing and pain.

Currently there are 90 or so accepted species that are classified within the Alocasia genus. As houseplants, they have gained increasing popularity – especially over the past few years.

When grown indoors, they do require proper lighting, high moisture, and fertilization – tending to do quite well in the greenhouse setting. Rarely are they able to withstand cold winters (or the drying effects of your home’s heating system) – and oftentimes they go dormant during the colder seasons, only to grow back in the spring and summer. Specific care instructions will depend largely on the species of Alocasia.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Alocasia a species?

Alocasia are a genus of plants that belong to the Araceae or Aroid family.

How do you identify Alocasia?

Alocasia are commonly distinguished by their arrow-head foliage at the ends of tall petioles.

Is Alocasia good for indoor plant?

Alocasia species typically do well in high humidity environments, require alot of water during active growth, and thrive under bright light. It is for these reasons that Alocasia species make rarely good beginner houseplants.

Can you eat Alocasia?

We do not recommend eating your Alocasia houseplants, as they carry oxalate crystals or raphides that can restrict your ability to breathe.

Is Alocasia expensive?

There are some species within this genus that are more difficult to come by – and are as a result, typically more expensive.

However, there are more affordable varieties i.e. Alocasia Amazonica (Polly) or the Elephant Ear.


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