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Plant Finder Tool

perennial

Black Stem Elephant Ear

Colocasia fontanesii

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Black Stem Elephant Ear (Colocasia fontanesii) at Rainbow Gardens

Black Stem Elephant Ear

Black Stem Elephant Ear

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Black Stem Elephant Ear (Colocasia fontanesii) at Rainbow Gardens

Black Stem Elephant Ear foliage

Black Stem Elephant Ear foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  7b

Other Names:  Cocoyam, Dasheen, Taro

Description:

An impressive tall variety with dark black-purple stems, topped with huge leaves that emerge dark plum purple and then mature to dark olive green with purple spines; a stunning garden or pondside accent plant for a tropical look

Ornamental Features

Black Stem Elephant Ear's attractive large heart-shaped leaves remain olive green in color with pointy purple spines throughout the season. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Black Stem Elephant Ear is an open herbaceous perennial with a shapely form and gracefully arching foliage. Its wonderfully bold, coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced garden composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Black Stem Elephant Ear is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Black Stem Elephant Ear will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Black Stem Elephant Ear is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Garden  Container 
Applications
Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features

Disclaimer - This Plant Finder tool is an online resource representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact the store directly for current availability. It does not include our entire selection of plants, so be sure to visit our store to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.