The Q&A Archives: Locating unknown plant/tree/shrub

Question: I am a recent transplant to SC and have been told about
an Alacasha plant/tree/shrub. I am not sure of the spelling either.
Sounds like ala-k-sha.
Would you please shed some light on this mystery for me?
Thanks a bunch.

Answer: Aloocasia, commonly known as African Masks and Elephant's Ears are mainly valued for their gorgeous leaves, which are very large, heart- or spade-shaped and beautifully colored and variegated in gleaming shades of green, purple, bluish-green, red and bronze. They also produce small, calla-like flower spathes. This plant can be grown outdoors in your gardening area either in the ground or in a container. It needs a large pot with good drainage (to about one third the depth) and should be planted ideally in equal parts of lumpy loam and fibrous peat, with some sand and a few lumps of charcoal. The rhizome should be planted at soil level. Feed the plants weekly while growing and protect from strong sunlight. At the end of summer the leaves will die down and the rhizome will need a few months of rest. In spring, new leaves will appear from the buried rhizome. Alocasia can grow upwards of 10' high and 4' wide, providing a lush, tropical look to a shady/partly sunny garden. You can find the rhizomes in garden centers in early spring (the look like huge turnips!

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