Philodendrons, Elephant Ears, and Other Aroids forum→Colocasia esculenta "Jack's Giant"(?)

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East-Central Mississippi (Zone 8a)
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Region: Mississippi Native Plants and Wildflowers Cactus and Succulents Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
RadlyRootbound
Feb 14, 2019 1:54 AM CST
Last year I bought an elephant ear at the co-op, which was labeled as "Jack's Giant". However, this plant is more similar to some of the purplish/black varieties and hasn't produced massive leaves or achieved great height. Only one of the photos here that has "Jack's Giant" tagged shows a plant similar to mine, so I'm wondering if this plant was mislabeled.

Here is my Colocasia esculenta in my water feature, toward the back:

Thumb of 2019-02-14/RadlyRootbound/c870fd

Which variety do y'all think I have? Any help is appreciated.

Radly
"He who says his plants are always bigger & better than anyone else's and his grass, greener, is likely feeding them manure, like he's feeding you." ~Radly
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
Feb 14, 2019 7:08 AM CST
I agree, it doesn't look like Taro (Colocasia esculenta 'Jack's Giant') which has green leaves and can grow 6 to 8 feet in height.

Although there are several cultivars with purple foliage, I wonder if yours might be Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta 'Black Magic')
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Feb 14, 2019 7:16 AM CST
It sure looks like Black Magic to me. When I first bought Black Magic it was being called Black Princess but that name was changed.
I have that variegated grass. Do you know the botanical name for it? I got it as a trade and the trader just called it 'variegated aquatic bamboo' but I know its not a true bamboo. I've always thought it might be elephant grass
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East-Central Mississippi (Zone 8a)
Any silver lining could have clouds
Region: Mississippi Native Plants and Wildflowers Cactus and Succulents Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
RadlyRootbound
Feb 14, 2019 12:58 PM CST
I agree that it looks to possibly be "Black Magic" and definitely not "Jack's Giant", although if you look under "Jack's Giant", in the photos where it's tagged, there is the same purple/black Colocasia in one photo with no green elephant ear visible, so I'm wondering if some supplier is mislabeling their plants.

@Gina1960 , the plant to the left in the barrel is Ribbon Grass (Phalaris arundinacea 'Strawberries & Cream'). There's also a Flax Lilly outside the water feature and to the right that has similar foliage, but the Ribbon Grass sits in the water. The stalks of the Ribbon Grass are a bit "lazy", falling over and not standing up as I'd prefer in such a small water feature and it gives an untidy look, so I'll probably be moving it to a larger water feature in lue of something more starkly upright.

Radly
"He who says his plants are always bigger & better than anyone else's and his grass, greener, is likely feeding them manure, like he's feeding you." ~Radly
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Feb 14, 2019 1:44 PM CST
Ribbon grass. I will remember it. It is also terrestrial, I planted some out in back in the ground and its 7-8 feet tall. And yes very lazy. Also quite cold hardy
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Feb 14, 2019 2:04 PM CST
You know I have never seen or grown 'Jack's Giant' but Black Magic can turn green if it is not getting enough sun.
the more sun it gets the darker it is maybe jack is a color changer too
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East-Central Mississippi (Zone 8a)
Any silver lining could have clouds
Region: Mississippi Native Plants and Wildflowers Cactus and Succulents Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
RadlyRootbound
Feb 14, 2019 2:11 PM CST
Yep, also terrestrial. I bought it on clearance at Lowe's as a "regular" plant, then found out it could be a marginal plant, so I stuck it in the barrel. But, like I said, I'm not pleased with its laziness in such a small feature, so out it will come. I left it to overwinter there, but I'll probably divide it this spring and grow some "dry". I didn't realize it can grow so tall, but with that in mind, it might make a good peripheral screen on the back of my garden. Does it spread out and try to take over (like bamboo), or is it fairly "well behaved"?

Radly
"He who says his plants are always bigger & better than anyone else's and his grass, greener, is likely feeding them manure, like he's feeding you." ~Radly
East-Central Mississippi (Zone 8a)
Any silver lining could have clouds
Region: Mississippi Native Plants and Wildflowers Cactus and Succulents Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
RadlyRootbound
Feb 14, 2019 2:22 PM CST
Gina1960 said:You know I have never seen or grown 'Jack's Giant' but Black Magic can turn green if it is not getting enough sun.
the more sun it gets the darker it is maybe jack is a color changer too


I don't see any hint of a color change in any of the photos of "Jack's Giant" that show the typical large proportions, so the lack of great size makes me think it is just mislabeled, and the tagged photo showing a similar purple Colocasia without the huge size leads me to believe that some supplier is selling these mislabeled plants elsewhere, as well.

Radly
"He who says his plants are always bigger & better than anyone else's and his grass, greener, is likely feeding them manure, like he's feeding you." ~Radly
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Feb 14, 2019 3:08 PM CST
The ribbon grass spreads, but spreads slower in a dry area as opposed to a wet area. I will get a photo of mine tomorrow that is growing back of the house.
I have had it send runners as far away as 10 feet from the main clump. I cut those down and dig them up.
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East-Central Mississippi (Zone 8a)
Any silver lining could have clouds
Region: Mississippi Native Plants and Wildflowers Cactus and Succulents Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
RadlyRootbound
Feb 14, 2019 3:12 PM CST
Thanks for the info, Gina, and I'm looking forward to your photos.

Radly
"He who says his plants are always bigger & better than anyone else's and his grass, greener, is likely feeding them manure, like he's feeding you." ~Radly
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Feb 15, 2019 8:27 AM CST
This is mine. It sprawls everywhere. If I were to hold up one of the longer stalks, it would be about 8 feet tall. It behaves like a bamboo, putting out smaller shoots along the main frond. The photo with the bromeliad is for scale, that is a mature Bromelia balansae (Heart of Fire) that has a spread of almost 4 feet.
Thumb of 2019-02-15/Gina1960/644401


Thumb of 2019-02-15/Gina1960/19a3f7


Thumb of 2019-02-15/Gina1960/429352

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East-Central Mississippi (Zone 8a)
Any silver lining could have clouds
Region: Mississippi Native Plants and Wildflowers Cactus and Succulents Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
RadlyRootbound
Feb 15, 2019 9:38 AM CST
Thanks for the pics and information, Gina, they're very helpful. It seems that Ribbon Grass will not be a good choice for a screen afterall, since it lays down as a habit. With such an unusual tendency, I will have to think on it a bit to figure out how best to use it for landscaping. It doesn't easily fall into the usual categories, does it?

Radly
"He who says his plants are always bigger & better than anyone else's and his grass, greener, is likely feeding them manure, like he's feeding you." ~Radly
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Feb 15, 2019 10:41 AM CST
I would try Elephant Grass.
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