Botanical Name: Colocasia esculenta
Common Name: Elephant Ears, Taro
Type of Plant: monocot: perennial
Character Evergreen

Habit of Growth:
Overall Shape Clump-forming with tuberous roots (edible) and large arrow- or heart-shaped leaves with prominent veins, usually green but several forms have nearly black leaves, some with green veining. Leaf surface has softly textured 'velour' feel (looks similar to related Alocasia)
Height 3-6'
Spread 3-6'
Growth Rate Rapid
 
Environment:
Exposure Part shade, protect from hottest afternoon sun
Soil Rich soil, high in organic matter; there are both dry and wetland types
Hardiness 12, 16-24, H1, H2, Indoors anywhere
 
Morphology:
Leaves Large, textured, 2-3' long at the end of soft thick stalks. Leaf stems attached so leaves face outward and down (unlike Alocasia which face upward)
Flowers Greenish Calla-like spathe encloses the spadix in warmest areas
Fruit Small round or oval seeds form along the spadix
 
Propagation:
Division or seed
 
Usage:
Containers, mass plantings, near swimming pools; for its dramatic foliage form and striking color. Classic Tropical landscape plant, Oriental gardens, Contemporary garden styles. Wetland varieties are excellent pond-side and bog plants. All can become invasive
 
Landscape Care:
Watering Regular; many varieties accept standing water as in a bog
Fertilizing Regular balanced year-round
Pruning Remove old leaves
Pests/Diseases May harbor snails and slugs
Special Conditions/Other Roots and leaves are edible, but MUST BE COOKED
 
Origin: Maylasia, Australia
Family: Araceae
 
Notes:
 
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