Also, the variegation may appear in sectors or only on one side of the leaf. This is especially true for the giant elephant ear plants like Thailand Giant and Laosy Giant whose leaf size depends greatly on available resources. We have many more exciting and novel cultivars in the pipeline and cannot wait to release them to you. Last Updated: March 29, 2019 [3] Eddoes make part of the generic classification cará or inhame of the Portuguese language which, beside taro, also includes root vegetables of the genera Alocasia and Dioscorea. Color then bursts into the lateral (side) veins and begins its march to the margins. Other species may also have garden potential but are not yet in cultivation. The common Colocasia esculenta produces a 5' tall, green-leaved plant with 2.5' wide by 3.5' long leaves with green petioles and a smooth margin (leaf edge). Colocasia esculenta ‘Elena’PPAF will spread by aboveground rhizomes when planted in moist sites. Named after the popular Cuban mixed drink, the amazing leaves are medium green with dark purple flecks throughout...just too cool! wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Just remember the mantra: "more water + more nutrients = more elephant ear". It is important to understand this physiological change in order to successfully overwinter your elephant ear bulb. The traditional variety of edible Colocasia grown for taro is Colocasia esculenta variety aquatilis. Copyright © 2020 Plant Delights Nursery, Inc. | We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. The tuber was much larger and shaped differently from other Colocasia esculenta forms we had grown. Each 3' long leaf has incredibly scalloped edges that sets it apart from typical Colocasia esculenta. Emerging solid green, the 25" long, light green leaves begin turning buttercream-yellow along the center at the onset of flowering, to which the coloring is genetically tied. If you live in a frost-free zone, you can plant the taro any time of year. Esculenta varieties are normally diploid (2n=28) as are many of the other species in the genus. Eddoe is a smaller tuber with a creamy texture and less flavor than dasheen. However, triploid (3n = 42) varieties are not uncommon in cultivation and are usually more cold tolerant. Colocasia belong to the araceae family (whose members we call aroids) and share the unique spathe and spadix inflorescence of other aroid genera such as Arisaema (Jack-in-the-Pulpit). You can decrease the amount of water you give the plant just before harvest time to force the taro to direct its nutrients to the tuber. The same veins are also prominently visible on the leaf backs as the wind blows. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Colocasia esculenta ‘Ruffles’ has also multiplied faster than any elephant ear we have grown, with clumps multiplying from 1 to 100 divisions in 12-24 months. Don't forget to label your tubers! Colocasia esculenta 'Hawaiian Eye' PP 19,884, Colocasia esculenta 'Hawaiian Eye' PP 19,884 is a 2008 John Cho introduction that makes a 4' tall non-running clump, composed of large 18" long leaves that emerge black with silver-gray veins. In colder zones, the same principle can be used but with a slightly altered technique. Colocasia grow very well as a pond marginal, and when grown in containers, the pots can be submerged slightly during the summer months. With this introduction, John has been able to combine the color of Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ with the glossy leaf surface usually seen only in alocasias. If you grow your elephant ears outdoors in containers during the summer, cut back all but the top two leaves, then bring the pot indoors the before first frost. Unlike most other Colocasia species, it goes dormant in winter even if kept warm. This will prevent it from spoiling. Colocasia esculenta 'Yellow Splash', Colocasia esculenta 'Yellow Splash' is one of several splashed forms entering the US, but this name should only be applied to this cultivar. Roll these in flour and fry in oil. (Hardiness Zone 7b-10)  This provides the humidity that your plant needs to thrive. As a result, the leaves are held perpendicular to the petiole. The leaves are an attractive glaucous-gray which is typical of this species, and from middle age, the plants are adorned with clusters of dramatically large, pleasantly scented, clusters of white flowers. (Hardiness Zone 7b-10), Colocasia esculenta 'Pink China' is an introduction from Kentucky's Brian Williams, and has been the hardiest elephant ear in his trials, with tubers left on top of the ground surviving outdoors in Kentucky. Most of the dwarf non-corm forming species should be kept growing during the winter, along with non-tuber forming selections of Colocasia esculenta including Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ and Colocasia esculenta ‘Nancy’s Revenge’. Taro (Colocasia esculenta) is a plant with a starchy root similar to a potato, and it’s used in popular dishes around the world, like Hawaiian poi and many dishes in Southeast Asia, where it probably originated.In addition, taro is popular as a houseplant thanks to its dramatic leaves, which are shaped like elephant ears. (Hardiness Zone 7b-10), Colocasia esculenta 'Jack's Giant' is a plant that we received from Jack de Vroomen of Marlboro Bulb Company, who brought this to us from Costa Rica. The unique effect is that the leaves can actually hold quite a bit of water. This plant was originally introduced as Colocasia 'Waikiki', but this was in error and that name has been reserved for a future introduction. The petioles may have attractive colors that contrast with the leaf. As the leaf fills with water, the stem gives enough for the leaf to dump out its catch before refilling...fascinating. How do I pollinate the flower of a taro plant? The petioles are thick enough so that their color is easily noticed and is a nice ornamental feature. Elephant Ears have a worldwide distribution and grow natively in most tropical and sub-tropical countries. We are also growing another selection, Colocasia fallax 'Silver Splash', which seems a bit taller, reaching 18-20", but spreads less vigorously than other forms we grow. In addition, taro is popular as a houseplant thanks to its dramatic leaves, which are shaped like elephant ears. In the future, look for improvements to existing cultivars, better leaf colors, better petiole colors, novel vein colors, more leaf glossiness, better leaf ruffling, novel leaf shapes, better clumping habits, novel variegations, and inter-specific/inter-generic hybrids. The 30" tall Colocasia 'Illustris' is one of the most striking plants in our garden after it emerges in early June! The leaves are in addition to the cool leaf petioles which are heavily striped green and yellow. www.eol.org Colocasia Floridata. antiquorum 'Black Beauty' forms a 30" tall patch, spreading underground like Colocasia esculenta var. Colocasia gigantea Thailand Giant Strain is the super-sized king of our colocasia collection. antiquorum 'Black Beauty' is a superb 2006 Agri-Starts introduction, a stunning mutation of the popular Colocasia 'Illustris'. Every year thereafter, Dr. Cho has visited Plant Delights, where we spend several days evaluating his hybrid elephant ears and discussing possible future crosses. Baked Taro 2 medium sized taro (about 1kg) 10g butter milk of one coconut salt and pepper 2 birdseye chillies 50g grated cheese Peel the taro … Make sure your taro gets plenty of water. Gardeners can grow potted Colocasia esculenta cultivars in shallow bodies of water, but other species, such as Colocasia gigantea, need better drainage. (Hardiness Zone 7b-10)  It moves slowly in heavy dry clay but abounds freely in wet organic soils. A container-grown taro plant needs a similar amount of water. 84Yoshino, H. (1999), Phylogenetic general review of Colocasia and Alocasia based on the polymorphism of DNA and isozyme. (Hardiness Zone 8a-10), Colocasia esculenta 'Black Marble' (aka Colocasia 'Multiflora') is an Agri-Starts introduction that sported from the old favorite Colocasia esculenta 'Burgundy Stem'. Please try again. Sin, 42: 313-317Misrta, R.S., Nedunchezhiyan, M., Suja, G. (2005), Commercially cultivated edible aroids in India, Aroideana 28: 174-190Tao, Y., Heng, L., ZaiFu, X., (2004), Colocasia menglaensis (Araceae), a new species from southern Yunnan China, Ann. This form produces very long stolons (above ground runners), forming a large mass of plants in a short time. The leaf variegation also runs down the petioles, where it is often more visible than in the leaves. % of people told us that this article helped them. The narrow ruffled leaves add an entirely different texture in the garden. The solid green-leaved, clumping Colocasia esculenta is the most common in the trade and can often be found as a dormant corm even in the large box stores. Ornamental Colocasia (the focus of this article) are important garden plants because they add a bold, tropical look, and in the southern US they make fabulous garden specimens. At the end of each petiole sits a giant, green, heart-shaped leaf (to 3' long) with a shiny black cast. Generally, the leaf tip (apex) is pointed (acuminate) and the leaf base has two pointed or rounded lobes of varying size with a "Y" shaped sinus between them. (Hardiness Zone 7b-10), Colocasia esculenta 'Nancy's Revenge' was introduced at the 2000 International Aroid Society meeting in Florida, where it was the most drooled-upon plant. This article has been viewed 34,610 times. The highlight, however, is the tall 5' stems, which are vividly striped with cream-and-green vertical bands. Despite our best efforts, this plant never exceeded 4' in height, although it was reliably winter hardy in Zone 7b. There are 6 types of taro: Colocasia esculenta, Xanthosoma sagittifolium, Xanthosoma violaceum, Amorphophallus paeoniifolius, Alocasia macrorrhizos and Cyrtosperma merkusii. A few intergeneric and interspecific hybrids have reportedly been discovered or hybridized, including Colocasia esculenta x Alocasia brisbanensis, Colocasia esculenta x Colocasia gigantea, and Colocasia gigantea x Alocasia macrorhizos. I have included them separately, although in growth habit, they behave identically to the Colocasia esculenta selections. www.ipni.orgLong, C., and K. Liu, (2001). (Hardiness Zone 8a-10) The leaves of elephant ears are their most important ornamental trait. Colocasia affinis is represented in the trade by the cultivar Colocasia affinis 'Jenningsii'. For a while, Bob lost the label on his plant and mistakenly re-labeled some he sold as Colocasia 'Jet Black Wonder', an error which unfortunately still persists in the trade. Use a spray bottle to mist the leaves of your taro plant at least once a day. You can sometimes find taro tubers that are already growing shoots, but in most cases, you will need to sprout them yourself. We first became interested in elephant ears in the late 1980's, but it was on a 2003 trip to Hawaii looking for elephant ears that the scope of our interest and knowledge of the genus changed dramatically. If the pH is too low, or too acidic, add a base like wood ashes or a liming material. Dr. Cho retired in 2009, but is continuing his breeding work to develop unique and gardenworthy ornamental taro selections. These are small plants that look good planted en masse or as accessories for other small tropical plants. Due to this instability, Colocasia 'Black Marble' has a high cull rate in productionand will never be produced commercially in huge numbers. Colocasias are tropical looking perennial plants known in the western world as elephant ear or taro. The dusty, solid purple-black leaves to 2' long, make this elephant ear one of the most spectacular forms ever introduced...especially great for designers who love purples and blacks! Each thick textured and heavily corrugated leaf with upturned edges is reminiscent of the volcanic rock at Hilo Bay...very unique. Colocasia esculenta var. Taro flowers are pollinated by insects during the first hours of days following sufficiently hot nights (22°C - 72°F). Spathe color is usually white or yellow and spadix color can vary from creamy white to yellow or orange.

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