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Elephant Ear
Giant Elephant Ear

Elephant Ear / Many Types

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Zone 10

The names Alocasia and Colocasia are confusing in that an easy distinction between the families is not seen. To refer to these types of plants, the Latin Xanthosoma is also used. The reasoning is some DNA detail only technical plant experts are able to explain. There are at least 70 known species of alocasia

A. macrorrhiza 'Lutea'

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This very large Elephant Ear is seen throughout South Florida, Native to Java and Malaysia, people there use alocasia (Esculenta, Taro) as important sources of starch, such as poi in the Hawaiian food tradition

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Each leaf of alocasia and colocasia grow from soft stems. The leaves are variable in size but can be 3 feet wide and 4 feet long in the plant pictured above

The variegated versions of Alocasia are crisp and beautiful, like these which we think really "pop"

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click pic to enlarge

Alocasias develop hooded white spathes. resembling Spathiphyllum, but much larger in this case, up to 6-7 inches tall and very tropical in impression

Related to aglonema and dieffenbachia, these plants may be a tuberous or rhizomatous perennials. All have bold leaves held tall on fleshy long soft 'wet' stems

Xanthosoma sagittifolium

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Growth is variable by species but many are large plants, sprawling in habit and form clumps of growth from the soil line. Some will enjoy full sun, but most want shifting shade. Because the stems and leaves are very fragile, perfect wind protection is a must. They generally like a damp, cool, protected shaded home

Planted directly in the soil or in a pot, use a nutritious organic soil mix with good drainage. If your selected location is correct, little ongoing care is required. Fungus is the only possible concern

Plants named Alocasia, Colocasia or Xanthosoma locally seen in South Florida include:

  • Alocasia  amazonica, pic
  • Alocasia  'Black Taro'
  • Alocasia  'Black Velvet', pic
  • Alocasia  Borneo Giant, pic
  • Alocasia  cadierei
  • Alocasia  'Calidora'
  • Alocasia  'Californian'
  • Alocasia  chantrieri
  • Alocasia  cucullata - Chinese Taro
  • Alocasia  cuprea
  • Alociasia gigantum, Pic #1 #2
  • Alocasia  'Green Shield'
  • Alocasia  'Hilo Beauty', pic
  • Alocasia  imperialis, pic
  • Alocasia  indica 'Metallica'
  • Alocasia  'Lauterbaachinana', pic
  • Alocasia 'Loco', pic
  • Alocasia  longiloba
  • Alocasia  macrorrhiza / Black Stem
  • Alocasia  macrorrhiza 'Lutea', Pic  #1  #2
  • Alocasia  macrorrhiza variegata
  • Alocasia  metallica
  • Alocasia  nobilis, pic
  • Alocasia  odora 'California'
  • Alocasia  Piper 'magnificum', pic
  • Alocasia  plumbea 'Nigra', pic
  • Alocasia  plumbea 'Metallica'
  • Alocasia  'Portora'
  • Alocasia  'Purple Cloak', pic
  • Alocasia  sanderiana
  • Alocasia  'Sarian', pic
  • Alocasia  sinuata
  • Alocasia spp., Pic  #1  #2
  • Alocasia  'Stingray', Pic  #1  #2
  • Alocasia  superba, pic
  • Alocasia  'Tegrina'
  • Alocasia  veitchii, pic
  • Alocasia  wentii, pic
  • Alocasia  'White Knight'
  • Alocasia  x amazonica
  • Alocasia Zabrina, Pic  #1  #2  #3
  • Alocasia Zabrina reticulata, pic
  • Alocasia '8001' at trade show, pic
  • Colocasia esculenta 'Black Magic'
  • Colocasia esculenta 'Black Runner'
  • Colocasia esculenta 'Black Velvet'
  • Colocasia 'Mojito', Pic  #1   #2
  • Colocasia 'Tea Cup, pic
  • Xanthosoma 'Lime Zinger', pic
  • Xanthosoma lindenii - Indian Kale
  • Xanthosoma sagittifolium - Giant Elephant Ear
  • Xanthosoma violaceum - Blue Taro