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Elephant ear

Colocasia spp.

This species is one of three other similar species that originates from Malaysia. This plant grows well under the shaded canopies of forests in warm climates. It is also found growing along river banks and goes dormant during the dry season. It can be used as marginal plants in ponds and lakes.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring
Fruiting time
Spring

Harvesting

Harvest fruit or seeds after flowering period and sow immediately as the seeds do not store very well.

Propagation

Seed
Red seeds with a fleshy seed coat emerge after pollination. The seeds are extremely viable and will germinate after two weeks after sowing immediately. Remember to remove the fleshy seed coat before sowing the seeds as the seed coat inhibits germination.
Division
Divide corms or collect offsets during the dormancy period.

Special features

Attracts birds
Birds are attracted to the edible fruits.
Pot plant
This plant grows well in potted containers. The potted plant can even be placed and submerged in the water of a shallow pond and placed in full sun in warm climates.
Wet sites
Grows well when used as a marginal plant along rivers and ponds.

Geography

Origin
Malaysia
Natural climate
Forest areas in warm Climates

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Full Shade
Soil moisture
Wet
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Edible
Every part of this plant is edible, but it must be thoroughly boiled or steamed to rid it of toxins (Calcium oxalate crystals).

Personality

Family
Araceae
Flower colour
Inconspicuous flower with seeds turning red once pollinated
Scent
Mild

Problems

This species has a constant battle with hornworms (Hawk moth caterpillar) and cutworms. The best method to control them is to remove them by hand and to keep monitoring them regularly. Other problems that occur with this species is tuber rot and southern blight. Plant in a well-draining​ soil to prevent fungal infections.

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