Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta) in the Elephant Ears (Colocasia) Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Elephant Ear
Give a thumbs up Taro
Give a thumbs up Kalo
Give a thumbs up Dasheen
Give a thumbs up Cocoyam
Give a thumbs up Elephant's Ear
Give a thumbs up Kachhu
Give a thumbs up Eddoe

Botanical names:
Colocasia esculenta Accepted
Colocasia euchlora Synonym
Colocasia antiquorum Synonym
Colocasia esculenta var. esculenta Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Plant Height: 3 to 6 feet (.9-1.8m)
Plant Spread: 3 to 6 feet (.9-1.8m)
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Other: To around 3' long.
Fruit: Other: Green
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Other: Yellow to yellow-white spathe.
Bloom Size: 6"-12"
Flower Time: Other: Seasonal
Underground structures: Tuber
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Uses: Water gardens
Vegetable
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
Stolons and runners
Offsets
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Miscellaneous: Goes Dormant
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Full sun, they'll get to 6' before frost. NoID cannonball type ak

The Top 25 Water Garden Plants, Selected by ATP MembersThe Top 25 Water Garden Plants, Selected by ATP Members
March 15, 2014

Here's a report of the most popular water garden plants from our database!

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Comments:
Posted by eclayne (Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA - Zone 6a) on Dec 7, 2011 6:56 PM

In the 5 month growing season here the largest tubers of the type I have produce 6'+H plants with leaves around 3'L. I plant in late May and lift after the frost has knocked them down (usually mid-October). They do fine in full sun to part shade but do best with lots of water. The newer leaves seem to have more marbling in part sun/shade. I also don't believe you can feed them too much. Easy to store dry over winter while dormant.

As C. esculenta produce many roots from the top of the tuber a good "growing medium/compost/mulch" on top of the soil is very beneficial. I use my own compost. New tubers and stolons also produce roots (which can be much closer to the soil surface). These roots tend to spread out just below the surface. I dig a depression ~2' in diameter and 2" deep. Plant the tuber ~2" below the soil level and overfill the depression with ~3 to 4" of "growing medium/compost/mulch". This helps keep the roots cool and moist and gives them a good medium to grow in. Sometimes I'll mound more compost around the petioles later in the season. When I don't dig a depression I plant deeper and mound compost ~2-3" deep above the tuber.

A native of SE Asia, Taro is reported to have been cultivated for thousands of years and is now cultivated worldwide as a food crop. The tubers, petioles and inflorescence are eaten as a vegetable and the tubers are used in traditional medicine. Some varieties are considered invasive in the American southeast.

Growers in zone 8 and higher report the best results when grown in bright or dappled shade.

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Posted by sallyg (central Maryland) on Oct 16, 2018 4:59 PM

I bought a grocery store edo/eddo and grew it into a potted plant. That variety seems smaller in size/stature than some, it grew to about 3 feet tall. First winter, I guess I kept it growing in the basement. Second summer, it grew well but on pulling it, I found no tuber left, only two tiny new tubers offsetting from the two stems. I potted the tiny tubers to keep growing but discarded the tops.

This summer, I was given a bulb of 'giant' elephant ear. Also potted, it grew four+ feet tall stems and larger leaves then the edo.

It can be a challenge keeping these watered in a pot. I used large saucers underneath the pots to hold more water.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
That looks weird... by Swayback Sep 29, 2013 6:47 PM 0
Cupped leaves by eclayne Jul 7, 2014 6:33 AM 2
Taro illustris by Hannah10 Dec 4, 2018 8:09 AM 20
Caladium by Hannah10 Oct 14, 2018 9:08 AM 8
Current bulb action by purpleinopp Nov 13, 2018 8:53 AM 127
Florida Invasion of the Plant Kind by ScotTi May 20, 2018 1:13 PM 23
Ordering Colocasia esculenta by Jaxsco Nov 29, 2017 8:36 AM 7
Help with Elephant ear? by CactiandCrochet Aug 24, 2017 7:06 PM 8
How are your tropicals growing? Pic's of course by Christine Nov 20, 2017 8:30 PM 243
Elephant ear chimera by Kabby May 22, 2017 4:22 PM 5
homemade bird baths by Jai_Ganesha Aug 12, 2017 5:48 PM 27
Banner for October 23, 2016 by Char by Char Oct 23, 2016 7:15 PM 12

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