Elephant’s Ear, Colocasia esculenta


Size – Medium; Pot – 200mm; Height – 60cm -1m


<Colocasia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae, common names are elephant-ear.  The species Colocasia esculenta is invasive in wetlands and potentially displace native wetland plants.

They are herbaceous perennial plants with a large corm on or just below the ground surface. The leaves are large to very large, 20–150 cm (7.9–59.1 in) long, with a sagittate shape. The elephant’s-ear plant gets its name from the leaves, which are shaped like a large ear or shield. The plant reproduces mostly by means of rhizomes (tubers, corms), but it also produces “clusters of two to five fragrant inflorescences in the leaf axils”. Like other members of the family, the plant contains an irritant which causes intense discomfort to the lips, mouth and throat. This acridity is caused in part by microscopic needle-like raphides of calcium oxalate monohydrate. It must be processed by cooking, soaking or fermenting – sometimes along with an acid (lime or tamarind) – before being eaten.

Condition:  grown in the ground or in large containers, temperature zone as long as the summer is warm. Growth is best at temperatures between 20 to 30 °C (68 to 86 °F). In temperate regions, they are planted out for the summer and dug up and stored over winter, dry and with ventilation to prevent fungal infection.  Require reasonably average soil provided it is moisture-retentive. They do best in compost-rich soil and in shade. Periodic fertilisation (every 3 to 4 weeks) with a common plant fertiliser will increase yields.

Planting ideas and uses: ornamental plants, or for their edible corms>









Isabellas Nursery