Massive Hawaii taro root could be largest ever harvested

In this February, 2022 photo, Nellie and Clarence Medeiros pose with a 50-pound taro root unearthed at the couple’s South Kona farm on Hawaii’s Big Island. (Megan Hadley/West Hawaii Today via AP)

KAILUA-KONA — A super-sized taro root has been harvested on Hawaii’s Big Island.

The 50-pound corm, which is the root of a taro plant, was grown on Aina ‘Ahiu Farm in Hawaii Island’s South Kona district and could possibly be the largest on record, West Hawaii Today reported Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says taro plants usually weigh between 1 and 2 pounds. This one — including corm, stalk and leaves — weighed close to 100 pounds.

Clarence and Nellie Medeiros, who harvested the plant, said it could feed about 180 people.

The couple plans to submit the specimen to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The current Guinness record is a 7 pound root grown in China in 2009.

The entire taro plant can be eaten, not just the root, in a variety of Hawaiian dishes from the staple poi to lau lau and squid luau, both of which include taro leaves.

The bottom of the plant, the huli, can be planted again after harvest and the plant will grow again.

“We are doing it with a purpose and to keep it going for generations,” Clarence said. “Our grandsons are putting the Huli back. It comes full circle. Different generations feeding the next generations.”


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