Difference Between Alocasia & Colocasia


Alocasia and Colocasia belong to the plant family known as Araceae. But they have major differences.


Alocasia and Colocasia more than belong to the same plant family. Gardeners refer to them by a nickname "elephant ears." This is in tribute to the large, flappy heart shapes of their leaves.

Alocasia Characteristics

Alocasia plants hold their leaves horizontally, with the tips sort of pointed upward. Also, Alocasias tend to prefer some shade and well-drained soil.

Colocasia Characteristics

By contrast, Colocasia plants hold their leaves downward. Moreover, Colocasia prefer full sunlight and lots of water.


Another member of the Araceae family, Xanthosoma is similar to Colocasia in how it holds its leaves and how soft they are compared with Alocasia. But Xanthosoma leaves are more arrow-shaped than heart-shaped.

Edible or Not?

Some leaves from these plants are edible, while some are not. The best way to find out--or rather, to avoid the nonedible ones--is to stick to the leaves sold at your local grocery store.


  • Outdoor Foliage and Foliage: Colocasia vs Alocasia vs Xanthosoma
  • "The Big Ears: Spotlight on Colocasia and Xanthosoma," LariAnn Garner, 2008
Keywords: colocasia, alocasia, xanthosoma

About this Author

Anjus Chiedozie has written articles in a variety of subjects such as music, scientific research and history. His work has appeared in "Georgetown Research College News" and The Washington Post-owned "Express." Besides writing at Demand Studios, Chiedozie works full-time as a copy editor at a newswire company.