Summer Elephant Ears
Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
Plants that have tropical texture seem to always attract the most landscape interest today on Southern Gardening.
Elephant ears just scream for attention where ever they grow. Most gardeners I know love elephant ears because they are really easy to grow tropical plants that have a big impact. There are three species commonly found in our Mississippi landscapes, but today I want to concentrate on Colocasia, which just happen to be my favorites. Most Colocasia feature big leaves and big texture, but they’re not all green. In fact, there are Colocasia with black leaves. Diamond Head is an outstanding black colored Colocasia having huge foliage that is black and lustrous just like its volcanic namesake. But be sure to maintain consistent moisture or the leaf edges will burn and turn a crinkly brown. Black Coral has large glossy chocolaty black leaves with finely ruffled edges and are some of the darkest elephant leaves available. The thick stems display the glossy black arrow-shaped leaves. Another Colocasia selection I really like is Blue Hawaii. This plant has large green leaves featuring prominent bluish-purple veins and have a wavy undulation. Colocasia Mojito is a plant that really lives up to its name. Each of the splendid leaves resemble an avant-garde artist’s canvas. The unique color patterns of lime green, chartreuse, purple and almost black are randomly splattered and splotched so that no two leaves are the same. We can think we live in the tropics with Colocasia in our gardens. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.