The Main Plant entry for Elephant Ears (Xanthosoma) (Xanthosoma)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Elephant Ears (Xanthosoma).

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Toxicity: Other: All parts of plant contain calcium oxalate crystals, an irritant to the mouth and esophagus. Toxic to cats and dogs.
Propagation: Other methods: Offsets
Pollinators: Beetles

One variegated form. To date the leaves are always deformed on on

Posted by eclayne (Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA - Zone 6a) on Nov 9, 2013 3:53 PM

Xanthosomas were recently revised in The Commonly Cultivated Species of Xanthosoma Schott (Araceae), including Four New Species, Eduardo G. Goncalves, Aroideana, volume 34, 2011. A few of the Xanthosomas listed are of particular interest for their ornamental value in the garden.

What we've known for years as Xanthosoma 'Lime Rickey' has been revised as Arrow Leaf Elephant's Ear (Xanthosoma aureum).
The Mickey Mouse Taro is now Mickey Mouse Taro (Xanthosoma monstruosum). Don't forget the U in X. monstrUosum.
Others, such as the , have remained unchanged. This one is unmistakable with its deep purple petioles under a waxy blue coating. Another, X. roseum, has been reclassified as Elephant Ear (Xanthosoma mafaffa).

I've found the three pictured Xanths to be easy to grow as long as enough water and fertilizer is provided. In Massachusetts they do well in full sun. They can be grown as pond marginals as long as the temperatures don't dip too low.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by eclayne (Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA - Zone 6a) on Aug 13, 2014 4:18 PM

This variegated plant has pushed up 3 new leaves in the last month. All have one half of the leaf almost non-existent. I was hoping it would grow symmetrical leaves as it became established but this "deformity" may be inherent to it. It's too bad because the variegation is stunning and it's shrugging off the cool summer nights we've been having this year.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by Marilyn (Northern KY - Zone 6a) on May 21, 2013 9:08 PM

"Xanthosoma is a genus of flowering plants in the arum family, Araceae. The genus contains about 50 species that are native to tropical America. Several are grown for their starchy corms, an important food staple of tropical regions, known variously as malanga, otoy, otoe, cocoyam (or new cocoyam), tannia, tannier, yautía, macabo, macal, taioba, dasheen, quequisque, ʻape and (in Papua New Guinea) as Singapore taro (taro kongkong). Many other species (including especially X. roseum) are used as ornamental plants, and in popular horticultural literature are known as ‘ape or elephant ear (from the purported resemblance of the leaf to an elephant's ear), although the latter name is sometimes also applied to members with similar appearance and uses in the closely related genera Caladium, Colocasia (i.e., taro), and Alocasia. The leaves of most Xanthosoma species are 40-200 cm long, sagittate (arrowhead-shaped) or subdivided into three or as many as 18 segments. Unlike the leaves of Colocasia, those of Xanthosoma are usually not peltate- the upper v-notch extends into the point of attachment of the leaf petiole to the blade."

Taken from wikipedia's page at:

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Plant Events from our members
Seedfork On April 3, 2015 Plant emerged
New growth showing on bulbs
Seedfork On March 21, 2015 Plant emerged
New spring growth on plants just beginning to show on tops of old rotted looking bulbs.
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Xanthosoma bloom? by LariAnn May 18, 2013 3:13 PM 2
Variegated by eclayne Nov 9, 2013 9:03 AM 1
Nice photo but which genus by eclayne Aug 24, 2015 12:19 PM 7
After dinner house plants by gasrocks Mar 9, 2019 6:20 AM 13
Merge needed? by plantladylin Feb 21, 2019 2:07 PM 1
Xanthosoma robustum by terraaustralis Feb 1, 2019 7:37 PM 2
Colocasia leaves turning yellow and droopy by Adonis Jan 27, 2019 1:29 PM 1
EEs didn't get the Dormancy memo! by RickM Dec 31, 2018 9:01 AM 3
Any tips for tropical plants in non-tropical climates? by Elmigo Dec 24, 2018 12:36 PM 59
Better change your plant tags...Philodendrons may not be philodendrons.... by Gina1960 Jan 20, 2019 7:47 AM 13
How's your winter garden? by Gina1960 Feb 5, 2019 6:50 AM 3
Taro illustris by Hannah10 Dec 4, 2018 8:09 AM 20
I love my crinums! by Gina1960 Nov 20, 2018 6:55 PM 35

« Add a new plant to the database

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by Fleur569 and is called "Can the colors get any brighter?"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.