Although initial introduction of wild taro dates back to the slave trade, it did not spread extensively until the 20th century when it was promoted by the USDA as a substitute for potatoes. Wild taro has the ability to out-compete and displace native plant species due to its dense growth patterns. Today wild taro can still be bought in many garden stores as an ornamental.
Common Name(s): Wild Taro
Date of Introduction to the United States: introduced with the slave trade, spread during 20th century
Place of Origin: Asia
Method of Introduction: Accidental through shipping traffic and as an ornamental
Problem(s): Out-competes native species through over-crowding since it has dense growth patterns, also has very little wildlife habitat value
Current Range: Found throughout southern Louisiana, including the Barataria-Terrebonne system.
Control Methods: Mechanical and Chemical
Source: Center for Bioenvironmental Research at Tulane