Colocasia esculenta is a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corms, the root vegetables most commonly known as taro. It is believed to be one of the earliest cultivated plants. Taro commonly refers to the plant Colocasia esculenta, the most widely cultivated species of several plants in the Araceae family which are used as vegetables for their corms, leaves, and petioles. Colocasia esculenta is thought to be native to Southern India and Southeast Asia, but is widely naturalised. It is a perennial, tropical plant primarily grown as a root vegetable for its edible starchy corm, and as a leaf vegetable. It is a food staple in African, Oceanic and Indian cultures and is believed to have been one of the earliest cultivated plants. Colocasia is thought to have originated in the Indomalaya ecozone, perhaps in East India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, and spread by cultivation eastward into Southeast Asia, then southward and westward from there into East Africa and West Africa, where it spread to the Caribbean and Americas.