Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ or Black Taro is a cultivar of Colocasia esculenta with beautiful dark purple, almost black, leaves and petioles.
It is slightly smaller than Colocasia esculenta but requires the same care.
It is moderately hardy: it loses its leaves with frost but the tubers survives down to -10 °C. In USDA zone 8 and colder, it is recommended to dig the tuber up and overwinter it frost free until the following spring.
As a houseplant it keeps its leaves throughout the year.
This plant likes it wet, so it is suitable for planting in or around a pond.
The plant is toxic in all its parts.
Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ is a tuberous plant that grows up to 120 cm height.
The leaf blade is up to 60 cm long and borne on a long petiole. The leaf and petiole are dark purple, almost black. The underside of the leaf is covered in a grayish haze.
The inflorescence is a spadix with tiny white male and female flowers. Flowering is irregular and usually takes place in the summer.
The fruit is a red berry of 5 mm in diameter containing 1 seed.
Black elephant’s ear, black taro
Colocasia: from the Greek kolokasía (rhizome of the Egyptian water lily)
Esculenta: from the Latin ēsca (food) and -ulentus (rich, full of)
USDA zone 9-11, -10 °C
Rich and moist
Partial shade to full shade, tolerates full sun if sufficient water
Keep the substrate moist or wet throughout the year
This is a fast grower, it may receive fertilizer weekly
Division of the tuber in spring
- Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’: Own work