Black Elephant Ear
Colocasia esculenta var. antiquorum 'Illustris' or 'Black Magic'
Native or Introduced: Introduced
Nutrient Removal Rating: Low-Medium
Wildlife Value: Low
Rooted or Floating: Rooted
Site Requirements: Shade to part shade
Maximum Water Depth: 3 inches
Elephant ear is an herbaceous plant that stores energy in large underground starchy organs called corms. Plants spread horizontally over time through vegetative means.
Large leaves grow directly from the corm. Leaf blades are green and/or purple. In some cases, the blades may be more than 20 inches long and 12 inches wide. Petioles are long (sometimes as long as 3 feet) and arise from horizontal stems.
Flowering occurs rarely - late spring to late fall. The flowers consist of a spike and a single large leafy spathe.
Elephant ear cannot survive in areas where temperatures fall below freezing for extended periods. It may grow in shallow waters found in swamps or along the banks of bodies of water.
Horticulture Agent IV
County Extension Director