Today taro cultivation takes place in dozens of countries. Perhaps the area most important to taro cultivation is Hawaii, where the plant is treated with reverence. It even plays an integral role in the Hawaiian myth of creation. In this mythology, taro acts as an elder brother to humanity, providing nourishment. This love for the plant led to the eventual cultivation of well over 300 different varieties of taro, which grow in various conditions throughout the islands including wet and dry land. Most taro production takes place in fields where a convenient water source is available to provide constant moisture such as with regular rainfall or through irrigation. The plants can also be grown in greenhouses or home gardens. Planting of taro normally occurs in the spring with crops taking 10 months to reach maturity. For those planted in wetlands such as swamps, however, the crops may take longer than a year to reach maturity. Although the taro plant can seed and grow flowers, this seldom occurs. Even when seeds do occur, they are not useable for planting. Instead, the top of the tuber is replanted and then grows new roots. Taro plants are mature when the leaves begin yellowing. Usually the leaves can be harvested at any time during crop growth.