Genus: Elephant's ear

Alocasia

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
Elephant's ear (Alocasia)
al-oh-KAY-shah
Araceae
Elephant's ears are large, evergreen perennials from damp sites in south and southeast Asia. They are grown for their big, veined, arrow- or heart-shaped leaves, which may be marked with black, dark purple, or bronze. The flowers are fairly insignificant. These rhizomatous or tuberous-rooted plants have a striking presence in the shady garden or large containers, or in a warm greenhouse or as a houseplant. Some species can reach over 15 feet tall. The tubers can be lifted and stored over winter.
Noteworthy characteristics:  Large, heavily veined, arrow-shaped leaves. Sap may irritate skin and all plant parts may cause mild stomach upset if ingested.
Care:  Likes moist but well-drained soil of moderate fertility in partial shade. Indoors, grow in filtered light. Provide high humidity, ample water, and fertilizer every 2 to 3 weeks during the growing season. Cut back on water in the winter.
Propagation: 

As soon as the seed is ripe, sow at 73°F. Divide the rhizomes, separate offsets, or root stem cuttings in spring or summer.

Problems: 

Mealybugs and scale insects can affect garden plants, while fungal and bacterial leaf diseases are common under glass.

Species, varieties and clutivars for genus Alocasia

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'Calidora' elephant's ear
Alocasia 'Calidora'
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'Portodora' elephant's ear
Alocasia 'Portodora'
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'Stingray' elephant's ear
Alocasia 'Stingray'
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Elephant's ear
Alocasia micholitziana 'Frydek'