Add Tropical Flair to Your Landscape With ‘Pharaoh’s Mask’ Colocasia

Fine Gardening – Issue 200
‘Pharaoh’s Mask’ elephant’s ear

Elephant’s ear is known for its big, bold foliage. Newer cultivars tend to focus on darker colors or splashy patterns to grab attention. ‘Pharaoh’s Mask’ doesn’t need any of that to catch your eye. It merely sports huge, glossy, Hulk-green leaves with extremely prominent purple veins. Always a focal point, ‘Pharaoh’s Mask’ can add either a prehistoric vibe or a modern-art flavor to a garden. How many plants can cover that much history?

When planted in the ground, expect ‘Pharaoh’s Mask’ to reach around 4 feet tall, but it will be a bit smaller if grown in a container. It also likes a lot of water, but those leaves are worth it. To make the most of its bold presence, try surrounding it with lower-growing ornamental grasses. The arching stems of the elephant’s ear will echo the form of the grass blades but multiply it exponentially. Or try pairing it with something that will accentuate the purple veins. Just be aware that whatever you plant with it will not get as much attention as ‘Pharaoh’s Mask’.

‘Pharaoh’s Mask’ elephant’s ear

(Colocasia ‘Pharaoh’s Mask’)

Zones: 7–10

Size: 4 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; moist to wet soil

Native range: Hybrid


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