Shalu kocu or Shola kochu, Alocasia fornicata

Shalu kocu or Shola kochu (Alocasia fornicata, family: Araceae) is an erect perinnial herb with rhizome and stolon, attaining a height of 1 to 1.5 m. Stolon grows horizontally. Roots are whitish. It is found everywhere, specially in ditch and damp places in Bangladesh along with Pipul (Piper longum), Bhat (Clerodendrum viscosum), Asam lota, (Mikania micrantha) and other species of ferns. It is also found in South and Southeast Asia. All parts of the plant is eaten as vegetable in the country. 

Leaves are broad, thin, triangular, pale but deep green, glabrous, shiny, 30-40 cm long, bottom part cut apart. Petiole is thick and almost as long as the total height of the plant, 40-45 cm. Like other members of the genus Alocasia, new leaves develop slowly from its wrapped state. New leaves are spectacular.

Numerous small and yellow-colored flowers are clustered on spadix inflorescence, covered with eye-catching white-colored spathe. In the initial stage the inflorescence is fully covered with spathe; later the spathe loosens to expose the inflorescence. Flowering occurs in autumn. Fruits are globose, orange-colored in 6-8 cm long spathe.


The plant is useful in piles, dysentery, itching, constipation, cough and skin diseases. Spadix is consumed as vegetable in the Northeastern parts of India. Propagation is caused by rhizome division. 

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