Dwarf Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta Royal Hawaiian® Kona Coffee) in the Elephant Ears (Colocasia) Database

Trade name information:
Series: Royal Hawaiian®
Trade Name: Kona Coffee
Cultivar name: 'Kona Coffee'
Common names:
Give a thumbs up Dwarf Elephant Ear
Give a thumbs up Elephant's Ear
Give a thumbs up Taro

Elephant Ears
Year Introduced: 2011
Heredity: Hybrid
History: Royal Hawaiian series Colocasia developed as part of a breeding program headed by John J. Cho at the University of Hawaii, Kula. Out of respect for native beliefs about taro only non-Hawaiian cultivars are used.
Country of Origin: USA
Hybridizer or Originator: John J. Cho

Data specific to Elephant Ears (Colocasia) (Edit)
Plant habit: Clumping
Plant height: Medium (20-40 inches)
Leaf base: Peltate
Leaf form: Flat
Leaf surface (top of leaf): Glossy
Leaf color (top of leaf): Blackish
Petiole color: Blackish

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 7b -15 °C (5 °F) to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
Plant Height: 24 to 30 inches (61-75cm)
Plant Spread: 12 to 18 inches (30-46cm)
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Other: Coffee brown.
Flower Time: Other: Seasonal
Underground structures: Tuber
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Uses: Will Naturalize
Eating Methods: Cooked
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Other: All parts of plant contain calcium oxalate crystals, an irritant to the mouth and esophagus. Toxic to cats and dogs.
Propagation: Seeds: Other info: Remove seed from berry which contains chemicals that inhibit germination.
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Miscellaneous: Patent/Plant Breeders' Rights: PP22,420 (2011)
Goes Dormant
Parentage: 2002-26 x 2005-51


Photo gallery:
Location: z6a MA, my gardenDate: 2013-08-07Shaded parts of new leaves are vivid green for a while.
By eclayne
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Location: z6a MA, my gardenDate: 2013-08-07Dark Chocolate brown. ~30 inches tall. Nice tight clumper with lo
By eclayne
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Location: Saint Helena Island, SCDate: 2015-05-03
By ardesia
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Location: Missouri Botanical Garden (Mobot) in St LouisDate: 2016-06-18
By jmorth
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This plant is tagged in:

Posted by eclayne (Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA - Zone 6a) on Mar 6, 2014 4:39 PM

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.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Black leaved Colocasia by eclayne Sep 17, 2015 4:24 AM 4
Colocasia by ahuskey10 Aug 20, 2014 9:35 AM 2
Let's talk about elephant ears! by Swayback Oct 3, 2020 3:19 PM 1,010
Royal Hawaiian Kona Coffee' Colocasia by Cinta Aug 21, 2012 6:55 PM 3

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