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The Plant Guide

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‘Black Beauty’ elephant’s ear

Colocasia esculenta 'Black Beauty'

'Black Beauty'

‘Black Beauty’ is my new favorite elephant’s ear. A mutation of ‘Illustris’, ‘Black Beauty’ is grown for its 2-foot-long, 1-foot-wide, dark purple leaves with green stems and green veins. Once established in my garden, this plant held onto its leaves through the heat and drought of summer in full sun, which is unusual for the dark-foliage forms of elephant’s ears: They tend to look less than lovely when temperatures rise above 90°F.
-Adrienne Roethling, Elephant’s Ears, Fine Gardening issue #148, page 61

Noteworthy CharacteristicsDark purple leaves with green veins.

CareGardeners in cool hardiness zones may overwinter plant’s tubers indoors covered by peat moss during winter, after the leaves have been desiccated by frost.

PropagationPlant tubers when soil is consistently around 70°F. Offspring shoots can be transplanted.

Problems'Black Beauty' does not thrive when temperatures rise above 90º F.

  • Genus : Colocasia
  • Zones : 10, 8, 9
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Foliage Color : Black
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium to Wet
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage

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