Colocasia esculenta 'Black Magic'

Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’

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.

Description:

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.

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Black elephant’s ear, black taro

Etymology:

Colocasia: from the Greek kolokasía (rhizome of the Egyptian water lily)
Esculenta: from the Latin ēsca ‎(food) and -ulentus ‎(rich, full of)

Origin:

Asia

Hardiness:

USDA zone 9-11, -10 °C



Care:

Soil:

Rich and moist

Light:

Partial shade to full shade, tolerates full sun if sufficient water

Water:

Keep the substrate moist or wet throughout the year

Feed:

This is a fast grower, it may receive fertilizer weekly

Propagation:

Division of the tuber in spring

Image sources

  • Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’: Own work

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