coco yam, wild taro USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: COES
Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott
Synonym(s): elephant's ears, dasheen

Coco yam is a perennial forb that originates from a large corm and can grow to 4 ft. (1.5 m) in height. Leaves, supported by 3 ft. (1 m) long petioles, are arrowhead shaped, up to 2 ft. (0.6 m) long and 1.6 ft. (0.5 m) wide, peltate and velvety on the upper surface. Flowering seldom occurs outside of the native range. Plants spread vegetatively through rhizomes. The invasive variety also spreads through aboveground stolons. Flowers, when present, are small and densely crowded at the apex of a fleshy stalk. Fruit are small berries. Coco yam is native to Africa and was first brought to the Americas as a food crop for slaves. In 1910, coco yam was also promoted as an alternative crop to potatoes by the USDA.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources