Tropical elephant ear plants are grown for their dramatic, over-sized foliage. Large leaves in a variety of shapes, textures and colors grow and spread quickly from a tuberous root or rhizome.
Members of the Araceae family, elephant ear or taro are known by the Latin name Colocasia esculenta.
Elephant ear plants can reach a height of 4 to 6 feet. One kind of elephant ear, the Borneo Giant, can grow to 15 feet; it is the second-largest undivided leafed plant in the world.
Grown for their dramatic foliage, elephant ears range from greenish-black to pale green.
Hardiness and Range
Elephant ears are perennial below zone 7. They can be grown in colder climates but must be dug up and brought indoors in winter.
Grow elephant ears in rich, moist soil. They grow best in partial shade.
Large and sculptural elephant ears are used in the rear of the border as a backdrop for other plants.
- Central Florida Farms: Borneo Giant
- Iowa State University: Growing Elephant Ear
elephant ear plants, dramatic foliage, Colocasia esculenta
About this Author
Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on VetInfo and various other websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hartwick College.