Species and cultivars you need to learn for class:

Colocasia esculenta

Common name: Giant taro, Elephant’s ear

Other cultivars and species: Alocasia is a similar genus used in the same way in the landscape. Colocasia indica is another name for A. macrorrhizos

Family: Araceae

Zone: Tropical

Identifying characteristics: Massive tropical leaves, arrow shaped on long stalks (leaves are 3-4ft long). The petiole connects with the base of the leaf such that the leaf generally points down in contrast to Alocasia where the leaves mostly point up. Seldom flowers when used as an annual in the north. Colocasia is used in pods and bogs and prefers moist soils.

Culture and use notes: Use in containers or mixed beds for a tropical accent. Bring in tubers to over-winter in a cool dry location. Start early in a greenhouse for maximum effect. Used as a food crop in Hawaii.

USDA Plant profile

© Penn State Horticulture  2021