Difference Between Alocasia and Colocasia (With Table)

There is a certain group of perennial plants in the tropical region known as ‘elephant ears’ commonly. They are generally grown for their huge, heart-shaped leaves and are from Alocasia and Colocasia who belong to the family of aroid or arum, even though there are lots of other plants with similar properties and habits.

Alocasia vs Colocasia

The difference between Alocasia and Colocasia is in their leaves and it is quite easy to tell them apart by looking at their respective leaves. The leaf of Alocasia always points upside whereas the leaf of Colocasia always points downwards. There are several other differences like their shapes, sizes, food, etc. 

Alocasia is a species of a perennial plant that is broad-leaved from the family of Araceae. Because of its beautiful leaves, it is indeed a sight to behold. The amazing aspect of this plant is that it may tell you whenever you might have overwatered. For lots of people all over the world, Alocasia is the ideal companion of greenery. 

Colocasia is a flowering plant from the family of Araceae. These plants are widely grown mainly in tropical and subtropical areas. The leaves are the most prominent parts of Colocasia. If anyone might eat the plant parts raw, they are sure to have stomach pain, but some places in India use some parts of the plant to cook delicious dishes.

Difference Between Alocasia and Colocasia (With Table)

Parameters Of ComparisonAlocasiaColocasia
LeavesThe stiff leaf stems reach into the leaves, and thus the leaves are in an up direction.The stiff leaf stems extend downward from the leaves and, thus they are in a down direction.
Growing conditionsThey tend to grow quite well in the dark or on shades. Direct exposure to the sun might damage them.They do not grow well in the dark and need direct exposure to the sun to bloom.
SoilThese plants cannot thrive in wet soil. They need soil that doesn’t remain soggy for long.On the other hand, these plants can thrive in soggy soil and can be grown in them.
BiologyThese plants can grow rhizomes and tubers below the ground.But, these types of plants can only grow tubers below the ground
FoodThey have an edible tuber called taro which is consumed by many. But, most varieties of them are fatally poisonous.These tubers of these types of plants are mostly edible and do not have any poisonous properties as such.

What is Alocasia?

Alocasia is also known as Elephant’s ears. It has huge leaves which are very beautiful to the eyes. Even though it is small in size, it can be across as very airy due to its tall stems that come out of tubers beneath the soil.

This plant grows in the rainforests of Asia. To this date, Alocasia has 79 species that are known to the world. It is quite prevalent in Borneo, and sometimes reaches an altitude of four meters. This plant can also be considered vintage as in the 1950s, it could be seen in the living rooms of most families.

This plant has also been cultivated as food for thousands of years. But, some of them still are not edible, even though they may look gorgeous. The splendid greenery of this plant contributes significantly to its decorative value.

Alocasia is known as “the tree that grows to the heavens,” and it is said to have been the same plant in all Western as well as Eastern editions of the Jack and the Beanstalk folktale. As a result, it continues to stand for taking advantage of the opportunities when they emerge, even if they can come across to be quite dangerous.

What is Colocasia?

Colocasia, also known as elephant ear, is a clumping perennial herb in the Araceae household. It rises from a cotyledon and is unique to Eastern Asia. This cotyledon is a common diet all over the globe and is often referred to as the “potato” of the tropics and sub-tropics. 

The huge, arrow-shaped, occasionally round leaves seem to be mostly green and have notable capillaries. Cultured plants almost never blossom. If eaten fresh, all parts of the plant may cause nausea and vomiting, and the sap may damage the skin.

The plant thrives in partial shade or screened sunlight, as well as wet, fertile soil. It must not be left to dry out and can be kept out of the way of heavy winds. The plant can spread and be split in the same way that other perennials with storage organs can.

This plant has a tropical appearance in pleasant planting areas, especially at the rim of a tree’s underbrush or in a boundary. It is also suitable for growing as a sample plant. It is also suitable for growing as a potted plant. It could also be used as a houseplant outside in the hotter seasons and taken inside during the cold months.

Main Differences Between Alocasia and Colocasia

  1. The Alocasia leaf is oriented horizontally. The leaf’s twigs, or petioles, can be seen extending into the leaf. As a result, the majority of Alocasia leaves juncture up instead of down. Petioles of Colocasia, on the other hand, attach from rungs in the leaf. That is why leaves appear to fall or hang straight down.
  2. The leaves of Alocasia are very shiny or rubbery in presentation, with notable arteries. They have an arrow-shaped and a heart-shaped leaf, whereas Colocasia has matte green leaves that are somewhat spherical in their shapes.
  3. Alocasia needs to grow in the dark, but Colocasia needs the sunrays to bloom. 
  4. Most parts of Alocasia are poisonous, whereas Colocasia does not have many dangerous properties. 
  5. Alocasia can produce rhizomes and tubers, but Colocasia can only produce tubers. 

Conclusion

Both Alocasia, as well as Colocasia, are recognized as ‘elephant ears.’ They are both members of the ‘Araceae’ household. Both plants are well-known for their broad leaves, that are referred to as elephant ears.

Both plants have a wonderful humid appearance and are quite suitable for growing. They could be developed in chillier environments where huge expansion is scarce. Both Alocasia and Colocasia are widely known plants. They are still mostly cultivated as houseplants.

Because they are members of the same household of Araceae, these two plants have many resemblances. They do, however, have some large variations that set them apart.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF00378239.pdf
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1438-8677.2011.00541.x
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