Definition of taro in English:



  • 1A tropical Asian plant of the arum family that has edible starchy corms and edible fleshy leaves, especially a variety with a large central corm grown as a staple in the Pacific.

    Compare with eddo
    Also called dasheen
    • ‘Taro can be grown in paddy fields or in upland situations where watering is supplied by rainfall or by supplemental irrigation.’
    • ‘I also plant Taro in a bog area, or a damp area.’
    • ‘About three hundred varieties of taro are known to have existed in Hawaii.’
    • ‘In the early part of the 1800s, the area was extensively planted with maize, potatoes, kumara, taro, calabashes, melons and pumpkins.’
    • ‘Land was divided into slices running from the mountains to the sea, within which commoners hunted pigs in the forests; grew taro, a major food source, in irrigated terraces; and constructed coastal fish ponds.’
    • ‘In low-lying areas, the country's water is so salty that many farmers now grow taro in tin-lined containers or concrete-lined planting beds.’
    • ‘They cut trees for canoes and dug garden plots for the plants they had carefully transported from Polynesia - taro, banana, yam, coconut.’
    • ‘People note that banana trees are not producing many fruits, and yams, taro and sweet potato are similarly affected.’
    • ‘In Tuvalu, farmers once dug pits in the sandy soil, filled them with compost and planted taro, but now in low-lying areas, increasingly brackish water is poisoning these root crops.’
    • ‘The leaves of the taro can also be cooked and eaten, in the same way as spinach.’
    • ‘With a larger pond, you can have lilies or tiger lotus, maybe some taro or umbrella palm that will help shade the pond surface.’
    1. 1.1The corm of the taro plant.
      • ‘‘Basi yunai’ (sugar-wrapped taro) is cooked over the fire with taro and sesame in melted sugar, which creates a transparent golden crust with a caramel flavour.’
      • ‘The staple food is the sweet potato, introduced from Indonesia about 300 years ago; other crops are yams, bananas, taro, sugar cane and greens of various kinds.’
      • ‘Staples of the diet remain taro, breadfruit, bananas, coconuts, papayas, mangoes, some chicken, pork, canned corned beef and seafood.’
      • ‘The deep-fried vegetable rolls filled with taro and sesame seeds are similar to sushi.’
      • ‘They also grow taro and yams, bananas, ginger, tobacco and colorful cucumbers.’
      • ‘Bananas, pineapples, taro, peanuts, manioc, cassava, rice, and bread are the staples.’
      • ‘Uchideshi life back then consisted of rising before the sun to pray, training, and eating two meals a day of rice porridge with sweet potato or taro.’
      • ‘Calaloo (a green, leafy vegetable that is served cooked) is sometimes combined with taro, dasheen, or tania leaves, okra, pumpkin, and crab to make a dish called calaloo and crab.’
      • ‘Other commercial activity is heavily agriculture-based: the manufacture for export of coconut cream, taro, passion fruit, limes, and honey.’
      • ‘Finally, she says, it's exciting to have had first-hand experience with tropical agriculture by sampling breadfruit, taro, fresh coconut milk, and lychees just picked from a tree.’
      • ‘The starch component, which is referred to as ‘real food,’ is usually taro, yams, sweet potatoes, or manioc but may consist of tree crops such as breadfruit, bananas, and nuts.’
      • ‘Before contact with the West, staple foods included yam, taro, banana, coconut, sugarcane, tropical nuts, greens, pigs, fowl, and seafood.’
      • ‘Yams, taro, bananas and coconuts are also cultivated, but a reliance on sago means that the production of it remains a major practice of village life.’
      • ‘Early garden crops - many of which are indigenous - included sugarcane, Pacific bananas, yams, and taros, while sago and pandanus were two commonly exploited native forest crops.’
      • ‘Women tended the pigs, planted the staple crop of sweet potatoes and other foodstuffs such as greens and taro (a starch), and weeded and harvested the garden plot.’
      • ‘In the US they call them dasheen, taro, cocoyams and also malanga.’
      • ‘In rural areas, people provide much of their own food through fishing, animal husbandry, and gardening of indigenous staple foods such as taro, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, and manioc.’
      • ‘Early Hawaiians relied on taro as a staple starch in their diet.’
      • ‘In W. Africa, where both taro and malanga are staple foods, next in importance only to cassava and yams, they are known as ‘old’ and ‘new cocoyam’.’
      • ‘The most popular Asian flavourings are taro (a starchy potato-like root vegetable) and sesame (yes, like those on your bagel).’


Mid 18th century: of Polynesian origin.