Colocasia gigantea or Giant Elephant Ear is taro species with enormous leaves.
The root of this plant is quite hardy, growth resumes in the spring.
It can be grown in the garden or in a pot, overwinter indoors or outdoors and be grown as a houseplant (if you have enough space for this giant).
There are a few varieties in the trade whose leaves are even bigger, like Colocasia gigantea Thailand strain .
Colocasia gigantea is an herb that grows up to 1.5-3 m.
The petiole is up to 2.5 m long, light green, frosted. The leaf is white frosted beneath, the top is green or light green, ovate to heart-shaped, 25-250 cm long and 17-150 cm wide, with a wavy edge, heart-shaped at the base and pointy at the tip.
About 5-13 inflorescences appear from the leaf axils. The flower stalk is frosted, cylindrical, 30-80 cm long and 1-2 cm in diameter. The spathe is 12-24 cm long, the tube is green, elliptic, 3-6 cm long and 1.5-2 cm in diameter, the upper lid is white, oval, 8-19 cm long and 2-3 cm wide . The spadix is 9-2 cm long. Female zone white to cream-colored, sterile zone 3-4.5 cm long and narrow, male zone 5-14 cm long. Flowering occurs in late spring.
The fruit is an oval berry of 5-10 mm in diameter. Seeds are numerous. The fruit appears in autumn.
The stalks are eaten as a vegetable.
The fruit is eaten raw or used as a seasoning.
Giant Elephant Ear, Giant Taro, Green Taro
Caladium giganteum, Leucocasia gigantea
Colocasia: from the Greek kolokasia (root of the Eastern Indian lotus)
Gigantea: from the Latin giganteus (gigantic)
Lower mountainous areas, in shady and humid places, up to 1,000 m altitude
USDA zone 8-11
The aerial part dies with frost but the underground tuber withstands frost and growth resumes next spring. In colder USDA zones 6 and 7 the bulb can survive if provided with winter protection (mulch).
Heavy clay soil, moist, marshy
Partial shade to shade. Full sun if kept moist enough.
Likes moist to wet soil, never let it dry out.
In the garden: provide with copious amounts of organic feed or humus in spring
In pot: provide universal liquid fertilizer weekly during growing season, monthly during winter
- preferably use soil less substrate to prevent rot
- surface sow
- 20-25 °C
- repot when seedlings are big enough to handle