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Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)
Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)

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Zone
Zones 12, 16-29, H1, H2
Partial Sun
Partial
Ample WaterRegular Water
Ample, Moderate

Colocasia esculenta

Taro, Elephant’s Ear
Araceae
Perennials

Native to tropical Asia and Polynesia. Fast growing to 6 ft. tall. Leathery green to gray-green, heart-shaped leaves are mammoth in size (to 2 1/2 by 3 ft.), carried at the ends of succulent stalks from spring through fall. All create a lush effect in the course of a single season. Flowers resembling greenish callas (Zantedeschia) appear only in the warmest climates. The starchy tubers were once a staple food of Polynesians, who ate other parts of the plant as well. In Hawaii, where nearly 300 forms of wetland and upland (dry) taro are recorded, the plant is still grown commercially for the edible roots.

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