The Q&A Archives: Elephant ears

Question: I purchased 1 package (4 bulbs) of elephant ears (extra large) from Home Depot selected and packed by Van Zyverden Inc.(number on front AX001783) They look great. I need the botanical name for them not the common name, so I can enter them in a flower show. Are they Colocasia esculenta or a Caladium?
Thank you

Answer: The stock number is Van Zyverden's, not Home Depot's so I can't trace your plant. It's not a caladium, but I can't tell if you have Colocasia esculenta or Alocasia macrorrhiza. One way to tell Colocasia from Alocasia is that Colocasia is peltate (the leaf petiole attaches to the leaf blade in the center, not at an edge like the Alocasia. Once you've narrowed it down to Colocasia or Alocasia, do a web search to find the exact plant that you're growing. Wish I could be of more help but there are 70 different species and the only way to be sure of what you have is to match the photos or read the leaf descriptions.

Good luck with your project!

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