Elephant Ears

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Alocasia Caladium Colocasia Xanthosoma


Alocasias have become the quitessential tropical. Offering a broad range of leaf sizes (from 6" to up to 8'), their colors, leaf shapes, textures, habits, & overall plant sizes are amongst the most varied amongst a single genus. Regardless of type, they lend an instant tropical feel to any place you put them, and so, have come invaluable in our containers & gardens alike. Despite their exotic appearance, they are suprisingly easy to grow. They are best grown in bright or filtered shade outdoors. Most Alocasias make excellent & well behaved houseplants for moderate or moderately low light, and with such variety, there is almost always one to fit your need. While established plants will tolerate more water, younger plants & particularly those overwintered or grown indoors should be in soil which is allowed to dry lightly in between waterings.

Alocasia BambinoAlocasia 'Bambino'

This perfectly well-behaved miniature stays under 12", making it perfect as a housplant for the desk or shelf where space is limited. Despite its diminutive size, it is a show-stopper with emerald-black backfield with radiant silver-lime patterning. Also ideal for lower light combination planters outdoors, it is equally well-suited to living wall planters in shady areas.

Alocasia Silver ArrowAlocasia 'Bambino Silver Arrow'

Like its sister, 'Bambino', this mini form has all the same attributes, but with silvery leaves that make an ideal compliment to blues and magentas in mixed containers. This is a high impact plant with a small size. It is best grown in shade or part shade.

Alocasia Curly BambinoAlocasia 'Curly Bambino'

Like the other Bambinos, 'Curly' is a small, well-behaved Alocasia. The curly, undulating leaf edge provides a unique texture. It is best grown in shade or part shade.

Alocasia 'Black Velvet'

The velvety leaves of this plant are such a dark shade of green they appear nearly black. Highlighted by thick white veins & stems, 'Black Velvet' provides unbelievable dimension for such a small plant (not exceeding 10- 12"). Such exotic impact in such a small package makes for a great houseplant!

Alocasia 'Borneo Giant'

This is, to date, the largest growing known variety (larger than 'Thai Giant' listed in some mail order catalogues). Relatively fast growing, each new leaf emerges larger (& taller) than the last. Leaves can grow 6 - 8' (or larger), and plants mature in the 12 - 15' range. Suitable indoors, we suppose, if you have VERY high ceilings.

Alocasia brancifolia

Leaves could not be more deeply laciniated (cut). The mid-green, glossy "fronds" are supported by striped stems reaching about 3' in length & height. Aroid blooms (spathe & spadix) are also striped & a pleasure to see, but excessive blooming may indicate stress; a condition which may stunt the plant. This species provies excellent texture for a moderately sized houseplant.

Alocasia calidora

Also known as 'Persian Palm', this variety is one of the longest cultivated for ornamental purposes. Tough, thick, almost leathery leaves can reach 4- 6' in size. Established plants can grow in the 10 - 12' range.

Alocasia 'Corozon'

Silver-cast, elongated leaves show prominant white veins. The leaves grow in the 2 - 3' range, while plants mature in the 3 - 4' range. This variety is rare in cultivation. 

 Alocasia cuprea

Another diminutive form, this variety produces curiously colored leaves of metalic purple & silver. The thick leaf tissue puckers silver between deeply set purple veins. Leaves remain under 10", as do the plants. Because of the color & texture, even remove inspection would leave on to believe this plant is not real. It is - and we can prove it.

Alocasia 'Frydek'

Prominant white veins dance graceully amidst velvety emerald foliage. Leaves remain under 2' while plants mature in the 2 3' range. This is a truly touchable texture plant.

Alocasia 'Loco'

Disturbingly bizarre, yet curiously enigmatic, this smaller scale elephant ear is a RARE sight, even for the collector! Deep, glossy green leaves are boldly veined white, with a nearly metalic purple underside. Puckered and blistered, this is a truly twisted african mask! Grow in shade or part shade, or bright indirect light indoors, allowing the soil to dry in the winter. 'Loco grows 12 - 16".

Alocasia loweii 'Grandis'

This is the larges of the "African Mask" varieties, whith leaves up to 4' & plants maturing in the 4 - 5' range. Cleanly scalloped dark green leaves are edged, ribbed, & veined in white, & have purple undersides. Like other african mask varieties, it is extremely tollerant of shade outdoors, & low light inside.

Alocasia 'Hilo Beauty'

Discovered growing in Hilo Gardens in Hawaii, this playful plant has mid-green leaves generously but randomly splashed with minty cream. (I imagine it was at first, hard to spot given the whole "camoflage-looking-thing.) Hilo's leaves will reach up to 12", plants mature at 3'. 

Alocasia lauterbachiana 'Baroque Sword'

Gracefully scalloped lance shaped leaves of deep green are backed purple with dark red stems. Because of their light weight, they tend to stand more upright than other varieties & provide a much valued structure solo, in in combination with other plants. A unique & graceful choice for a houseplant, leaves will reach 3 - 4', as will the plant.

Alocasia macrorrhiza 'Lutea'

'Lutea' is Latin for 'yellow', so this plant is aptly named. Thick yellow stems & veins seem to radiate light amidst the large, undulating green leaves they support. Like the species, they display the true character which gives them the name "Elephant Ears". Leaves reach 2 - 3' in length, while plants mat reach 4'. Native to New Guinea, it is suprising that this is one of the hardiest Alocasia, surviving zone 7 without issue. 

Alocasia macrorrhiza 'New Guinea Gold'

From Papua, New Guinea, this RARE plant is truly an enigma to the world of botany. Without explanation, yellow spotted variegation appears and disappears, at will, without ever seeming to revert! Even when not present, the unusually thick, glossy green leaves, held on rigid upright stems are attractive, especially given the yellow veins and stems. Provide shade. Plants grow to 6'. 

Alocasia amazonica x 'Polly'

This is the smallest of the "African Masks" & is extremely easy to grow. Very tolerant of low light & maturing at 12 - 18" it is easy to see why this showy exotic has become the most popular Alocasia grown as a houseplant.

Alocasia odora 'Variegata'

Much persued, but rarely viewed, this variegated elephant ear is a RARE treasure! One would be hard pressed to find a more boldly variegated plant! Leaves may exceed 2' in length, with plants maturing 4 - 6'. Provide shade or part shade.

Alocasia nebula 'Imperialis'

This is considered one of the most highly prized of the Alocasias, and is quite RARE. Tissue between the dark green veins is a silver cast, blueish green; a most unusual color! This tends to be a generously leafing variety, maturing 18 - 24". Grow in part shade, and allow soil to dry when overwintering indoors.

Alocasia portei

Like prehistoric claws reaching up from the ground, portei's leaves are thick, deeply cut, & curled about the veins. Producing strong, thick stems, this haunting foliage can reach 4 - 6 feet, while plants can grow 8 - 10'. This is a high-character plant & likes looming in darker areas - Huh - Go figure.

Alocasia x 'Purpley'

This second larges of the "African Masks", this one features dramatic scalloping on the leaf edge, purple undersides, & often a purplish cast on the top of its dark green leaves. Veins on mature leaves often present a lavander glow. Leaves & plants can both reach 3 - 4'.

Alocasia rugosa

This is definelty another on of those plants people can't believe is real when they first see it. The leaves are so thick & firm, they feel (& look) like plastic. The filey stippled texture adds to the "artificial" quality of this species. Leaves emerge silver on near black, aging to silver-green with blue-purple casts amidst black veins. Plants remain under 12".

Alocasia Sarian

 Large, tough, deep green leaves with undulateding edges are supported by brilliant white veins. Leaves mature in the 3' range while pants can grow 6 - 12' (in more than one season). This one will not tolerate hot sun or deep shade; part shade is best outdoors.

Alocasia tigrina 'Superba'

Long & slender arrow shaped leaves with long lobes & undercurled margins are bluish green in color and size to about 3' on matureplant. Stems are strongly striated (stiped) in emerald & light green. Plants can grow 6' tall.

Alocasia zebrina 'Reticulata'

The finely marbled managerie of dark green and translucent chartreuce form a entransing network on large, deeply lobed triangular leaves. Bold & playful, leaves can grow 3 - 4', while plants mature 6' or more.  



Full Sun to Full Shade

Carolyn Whorton

Full to Part Shade

Fannie Munson

Full Sun to Full Shade

Freida Hemple

Full Sun to Full Shade


Full Sun to Full Shade


Full to Part Shade

Miss Muffet

Full to Part Shade

Red Flash

Full Sun to Full Shade


Full Sun to Full Shade

Thai Beauty

Full to Part Shade

White Christmas

Full to Part Shade

White Queen

Full to Part Shade


 Colocasias are enigmantic tropicals which produce elephant ear shaped leaves in diamentrically opposed colors ranging from matte and shy black to chartreuce. They thrive in part shade, and will tollerate full sun with ample moisture. Many are suitable for bog plantings & pond marginals. It is important to note that the water needs of Colocasia are directly proportional to the amount of sunlight they recieve; the more light they get, the more water they require. Plants in full sun or high light will require constant moisture.

Colocasia  esculenta 'Black Magic'

Tender matte-black leaves for bushy plants which can grow to 3'. This high-drama color is an outstanding selection for containers & the edges of ponds. Adding to the drama, the veins of mature leaves seem to emit an almost lavander-blue hue.

Colocasia 'Diamond Head'

Oversized glossy black leaves are puckered and generously ruffled. These stunningly showy leaves are supported by deep burgundy stems on plant which can reach 6'.

Colocasia 'Elena'

Vibrant chartruece leaves are produced in profusion, each with a purple splotch at the center. Faster & easier to grow, it is a high-potential alternative in this color pallette to Xanthosoma 'Lime Zinger'. Growing 4 - 6',  'Elena will grow in full sun to full shade outdoors, & in all but the lowest of light indoors.

Colocasia 'Illustris'

Like "Black Magic' with an attitude, this one features matte-black leaves with radiant bright green veins. These extraordinary leaves are supported by violet stems. 'Illustris' will tollerate boggy conditions but definetly prefers part shade. Plants can reach 4 - 6'.

Colocasia 'Lime Aide'

Matte mid-green leaves are splashed, splotched, and spotted with chartreuce. This playful paradox will grow in full sun (with adequate moisture) to part shade, maturing at 3 - 4'. If you're lucky, you may get to see this plant bloom with it's unusually orange/yellow spathe & spadix bloom.

Colocasia 'Maui Magic'

This unusual Elephant Ear has matte-black leaves with an almost magical irridescence radiating from the center. Great outdoors in part shade as a conversation sparking single specimen, it is also makes a stunning addition to combination planters.    

Colocasia 'Mojito'

The large, traditionally shaped elephant ear leaves of this plant are generously splotched with shades of purple, black & chartreuce on multi colored stems. No two leaves are the same! This new introduction has strong potential in both combination pots & gardens. Leaves can reach 2' while plants will reach 4'. - Kick back & have a 'Mojito'!


Lime Zinger lindenii Magnificum