The Elephant Ears (Colocasia) Database, moderated by eclayne

We have 300 images of 92 elephant ears (colocasia) here.
New Comments:
Talking about Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Jack's Giant') on February 2, lovesblooms wrote:

Mine grew to almost five feet or so, but I may be to blame, since I planted it upside down and it had to work its way back around. When in doubt, lay it on its side! Lost growth time that way. But the leaves are a very impressive presence. Can't wait to try again this season.
Talking about Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Jack's Giant') on October 1, eclayne wrote:

While my Jack's haven't reached their full potential this year, they never fail to bring on a smile. On two plants the 4th leaf to emerge was over 3 feet long, easily living up to its name. They've been happy exposed to mostly sun as well as bright shade, in well amended soil with lots of water.
Talking about Elephant's Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Blue Hawaii') on August 22, dyzzypyxxy wrote:

The nice blue/purple color on the leaves and stems is better in partial shade. Remove all flowers to keep the plant producing new leaves. The flowers are nice, tall and yellow, but the plant will begin making pups after blooming if you let the flowers remain.
Talking about Black Stem Elephant Ear (Colocasia fontanesii) on August 22, eclayne wrote:

This is the first Colocasia I tried to overwinter in a bucket of water (the bucket method). Success!! This may partly be attributable to C. fontanesii being one of the group of Colocasias that can be grown in water.

The technique is easy. Rinse as much soil as possible off the roots and tuber. Place in a (3 gal.) bucket with 2" of water. Drain the water and rinse the roots repeatedly until the water stays clear, removing any dead roots at this time (2 to 4 rinses for me). Grow under artificial (or natural) lighting over the winter. In the spring, when hardening the plant off (in shade), I simply added potting soil to the bucket and (gently) pulled the plant up. In a few weeks it's both hardened off and happily sending out new roots. Transplant at your leisure.

While it will grow happily in full sun to full shade in Massachusetts, the largest leaves and healthiest growth are in full sun. It is a plant that performs best with constantly wet soil. C. fontanesii is a "Runner," sending out many stolons, so you will easily be able to increase your stock. Eventually you'll see a Flag Leaf appear and shortly thereafter your first inflorescence. This year I've had 4 in one floral sympodium, to date!

Formerly C. antiquorum var. fontanesii, this name can no longer be used due to a nomenclatural problem. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore 65(1): 27–37. 2013; Two new species and a new record for Colocasia (Araceae: Colocasieae) from Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India; R. Gogoi and S. Borah.

Other plants in this complex of Colocasia include C. lihengiae, C. gongii and C. gaoligongensis.
Talking about Dwarf Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Kona Coffee') on March 6, eclayne wrote:

Another variety from John Cho's breeding program at the University of Hawaii, this is a small leaved EEar, think Caladium size. The leaves emerge an almost florescent green but quickly turn to a dark coffee brown. By planting several tubers together, you get a nice tight clump, no stolons that I noticed, that reached a bit over 3 feet for me in a sunny location. I've stored most of the tubers dry, in peat, over winter but am growing two on just in case. It was happy being treated to extra water and fertilizer like other Colocasia. I'm guessing this one will be around for quite some time because of its superior color, tight clumping habit, and leaf size, which will make it easier to place in the mid-bed area.
Talking about Elephant's Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'White Lava') on August 21, eclayne wrote:

2013 introduction of Dr. John Cho of the University of Hawaii. Distinguished from Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Nancy's Revenge') (from which it was bred) by its darker red petioles and clumping habit, 'Nancyana' being a runner with lighter red/green petioles.
Talking about Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Madeira') on August 13, Swayback wrote:

Leaf color can range from uniform jet black to dusty blue green with purple around the veins, even combinations of yellow and black!
A very underrated release from brians botanicals
May be more cold hardy than originally thought, maybe more than pink china!
Talking about Elephant's Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Lemon Lime Gecko') on August 12, Swayback wrote:

A spectacular hybrid!
Standing up to full sun!
Rare for a variegated EE to say the least!
They grow and reproduce extremely fast, reaching a large size in only a few months

These plants seem have proven too variable in tissue culture, and will likely be discontinued soon.
Because of this, there are several forms of this plant. Leaves will range from dark green with yellow-green blotches and splashes to a light yellow-green flecked with darker spots, and everything in between!

Talking about Elephant's Ear (Colocasia affinis) on August 10, eclayne wrote:

Colocasia affinis and varieties have wildly variable leaves and pale to dark yellow spathe and spadix. These photos by David Scherberich show the wide leaf color and pattern variations.
Talking about Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Black Runner') on August 6, Swayback wrote:

This plant, Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Black Runner') and are the same plant!
They have ruffled leaves, and spread vigorously by way of runners (stolons).

It's my understanding that this is a hybrid of C. Black Magic X C. Green Ruffle
Talking about Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Nancy's Revenge') on July 9, Xeramtheum wrote:

Nancyana aka Nancy's Revenge is a runner. It puts out side shoots and probably could get out of hand very quickly. This is the first time I've seen a "running" elephant ear try to run in a pot. Normally, in my experience with "runners," they only do this when in the ground.
Talking about Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Black Runner') on May 25, Irrelephant wrote:

Darkness of leaves is directly proportional to how much light they get. The brighter and longer the light, the darker the leaf. Usually will fail to become very dark indoors. If in a pot, will still propagate by adventitious roots in the pot. This plant will usually crowd itself in a pot in less than one growing season.
Talking about Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Black Runner') on April 26, Xeramtheum wrote:

Black Runner lives up to its name when planted in the ground. It will send out runners everywhere and could become quickly invasive. I have never seen this happen when grown in pots.
Talking about Imperial Taro (Colocasia esculenta 'Black Beauty') on April 19, eclayne wrote:

This is a darker form of Imperial Taro (Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris') selected because it is said to retain the consistent dark leaf lamina color. With a matte leaf surface, coloration varies from black with grey veins and a green center spot (piko) to black with green veins.
Talking about Taro (Colocasia esculenta 'Mojito') on March 27, lorettalea wrote:

Mojito overwinters in the ground here in z7. My picture is of a plant that is in the pond. In the winter I pull it out of the pond and keep it in the greenhouse.
Talking about Taro (Colocasia esculenta 'Mojito') on October 19, eclayne wrote:

Great colors and form and it likes full sun here. This year, 2012, they reached 5 feet plus and produced loads of pups close to the crown. The parent tuber rotted after potting up for overwintering 2011-12. Three pups survived and were potted up. Two were then planted in ground in mid-May. Both produced tubers large enough to overwinter,...hopefully.

Per the plant patent statement by Agristarts "...a naturally-occurring branch mutation of Colocasia esculenta `Midnight`..." Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Midnight')
Talking about Black Stem Elephant Ear (Colocasia fontanesii) on December 17, JRsbugs wrote:

I have tried more than one Colocasia including 'Illustris' and 'Black Magic', this is the only one remaining alive. Illustris grew well from a tiny tissue culture seedling to make a large tuber but with two cold summers and going dormant over winter it gave up the ghost when there was not enough warmth for it to regrow in spring, these conditions do not affect 'Fontanesii' the same. In the UK it is advisable to keep them in a pot and bring inside over winter, this one will keep growing a little even over winter inside at temperatures around 16C give or take a little so the problem of bringing it into growth again does not exist. I think it prefers to be outside in summer, this year I kept it in a greenhouse but it didn't thrive, so natural rain water might encourage good growth as it brings down nitrogen although 2011 in the UK was exceptionally rain free. I grow it in a mix of gritty 'river soil' and lots of leafy compost which most bulbs thrive in. Runners are sent out from the main tuber and if they have room will make new tubers, I now have three in a larger pot than it was in originally, the first time it made a runner the pot wasn't wide enough for it to take root so I lost the advantage of having the plant make a new tuber.
Talking about Taro (Colocasia esculenta) on December 7, eclayne wrote:

In the 5 month growing season here the largest tubers of the type I have produce 6'+H plants with leaves around 3'L. I plant in late May and lift after the frost has knocked them down (usually mid-October). They do fine in full sun to part shade but do best with lots of water. The newer leaves seem to have more marbling in part sun/shade. I also don't believe you can feed them too much. Easy to store dry over winter while dormant.

As C. esculenta produce many roots from the top of the tuber a good "growing medium/compost/mulch" on top of the soil is very beneficial. I use my own compost. New tubers and stolons also produce roots (which can be much closer to the soil surface). These roots tend to spread out just below the surface. I dig a depression ~2' in diameter and 2" deep. Plant the tuber ~2" below the soil level and overfill the depression with ~3 to 4" of "growing medium/compost/mulch". This helps keep the roots cool and moist and gives them a good medium to grow in. Sometimes I'll mound more compost around the petioles later in the season. When I don't dig a depression I plant deeper and mound compost ~2-3" deep above the tuber.

A native of SE Asia, Taro is reported to have been cultivated for thousands of years and is now cultivated worldwide as a food crop. The tubers, petioles and inflorescence are eaten as a vegetable and the tubers are used in traditional medicine. Some varieties are considered invasive in the American southeast.

Growers in zone 8 and higher report the best results when grown in bright or dappled shade.
Talking about Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta 'Lime Aide') on November 8, SongofJoy wrote:

In my zone, this plant freezes to the ground but dead, mushy leaves can be removed and area covered over with a thick mulch ... it then reappears late the following Spring.
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