ELEPHANT’S EAR

FAMILY: Araceae | GENUS: ALOCASIA

TYPE
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
  • Filtered Light
WATER
  • Regular Water
  • Ample Water
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Poisonous/Toxic

Plant Details

These plants and their big leaves come from the streamsides and marshes of tropical Asia and bring a lush look to gardens. Many fancy-leafed selections have been introduced recently, and more are sure to follow. They can be grown indoors in bright light or outdoors in filtered sunlight. Give them moist, well-drained soil containing lots of organic matter. Provide shelter from wind so leaves don't get tattered. The flowers are like those of calla (Zantedeschia)a spikelike structure (spadix) surrounded by a fleshy, hoodlike bract (spathe). Flowers are followed by reddish fruit, giving spike the look of corn on the cob. Although useful in garden beds and containers, most are sensitive to frost.

african mask

alocasia amazonica

  • Zone TS; USDA 10-11.
  • Leathery, deep bronzy green leaves to 16 inches long have wavy edges, heavy white main veins.
  • Plants may grow as tall as 4 feet and about half as wide.
  • This species is the one most commonly available as a houseplant.

chinese taro, chinese ape

alocasia cucullata

  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Slow-growing, clumping evergreen plant to 3 feet high.
  • Grown for shiny, deep green, pointed leaves to 15 inches long, 1 feet wide.
  • Usually massed as a ground cover; plant 1 2 feet apart.
  • Requires moist, rich, well-drained soil and protection from wind.
  • Excellent container plant.

giant alocasia, giant taro

alocasia macrorrhiza

  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Evergreen at 29F; loses leaves at lower temperatures but comes back in spring if frosts are not too severe.
  • Medium to dark green, arrow-shaped leaves grow to 2 feet or longer on stalks to 5 feet tall, form a dome-shaped plant 4 feet across; may grow as large as 12 feet tall, 10 feet wide in Tropical South.
  • The foliage of 'Variegata' is blotched with creamy white, gray-green, or darker green.
  • Yellow Tail features thick, twisted, green leaves with irregular yellow blotches.

alocasia 'Mayan Mask

  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Hybrid with oversized, arrow-shaped, green leaves with white veins and purple undersides.

alocasia micholitziana 'Frydek

  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Velvety, dark green leaves with prominent white veins.

alocasia 'Morocco

  • Zone TS; USDA 10-11.
  • Green leaves have white veins like Alocasia amazonica, but the petioles are striking coral-pink.

alocasia odora

  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • Similar to Alocasia macrorrhiza but hardier.
  • Fragrant flowers.

alocasia plumbea

  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • This Indonesian species resembles Alocasia macrorrhiza but it is not quite as hardy and bears fragrant flowers.
  • Selections with colorful leaves include 'Metallica', with a purple luster; dark green to black 'Nigra'; and red-tinted 'Rubra'.

alocasia 'Portodora

  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • This hybrid elephant's ear looks much like Alocasia macrorrhiza but reaches 8 feet tall, with giant (4 feet), wavy, scalloped leaves on purple stems.

alocasia sanderiana

  • Zone TS; USDA 10-11.
  • Grows to 6 feet tall and wide.
  • Arrow-shaped, deeply lobed leaves about 1216 inches long, metallic dark purplish green with silver veining on surface.

alocasia 'Sarian

  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11.
  • Big, arrow-shaped leaves with prominent white veins reaching 1536 inches across and 48 feet tall.

alocasia wentii

  • Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11.
  • This is a hardy species, surviving 10F.
  • Grows in a tight clump.
  • Can reach 4 feet high and wide, but may not get bigger than 1 feet if grown outdoors in colder part of range.
  • Arrow-shaped leaves to 1 feet long are bronzy green on top, purplish underneath.

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