coco yam, wild taro

Arales > Araceae > 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


Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Foliage;
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Stem(s);
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Root(s);
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Root(s);
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Victor Ramey, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); habit
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Alabama - IPC List
  • Florida - EPPC list
  • Georgia - EPPC list
  • South Carolina - EPPC List
  • Texas - Invasive Plant List
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species


External Links


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