long leaf-stalks supporting heart-shaped, mid- to dark green leaves
up to 24 in (60 cm) long; the plants can spread by slender runners.
Colocasia esculenta var. antiquorum (eddoe) has smaller but more
numerous tubers. The ornamental cultivar Fontanesii has dark purple
stalks and bronze-tinted leaves. There are innumerable edible
cultivars of taro and one feature in which they vary is the presence
and amount of irritant crystals in the tubers, which may need to be
removed by repeated boiling.