Taro is the common term for corms and tubers from plants in this family (Araceae). It's a perennial plant native to southeast Asia. It is primarily grown as a root vegetable for its starchy corms (aka, taro root) as well as for its leaves. The plant itself is inedible and considered toxic, with the presence of calcium oxalate, when raw. Calcium oxolate is is highly insoluble and contributes to kidney stones, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is recommended that you consume milk or other calcium-rich foods when eating taro. One must take care even when handling the raw leaves. The toxin is minimized once cooked, especially with a bit of baking soda. It can also be reduced by soaking overnight in cool water.
The leaves of the Taro are large, green, and heart shaped. It is sometimes referred to as "Elephant Ear" because of the shape. Taro leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals. Raw taro leaves are toxic, however the toxin can be eliminated by cooking or soaking overnight in cold water. Popular in pacific island cuisines, these leaves are often eaten steamed or as a wrapper for other foods.