running elephant ears

kaysbelle(z5IL)August 15, 2005

Can someone post a picture of running elephant ears and tell me about them? Latin name? I've done a search but can't find anything on them. I would like to know how they differ from the regular elephant ears which grow from a bulb. Thanks for your help.

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bihai(zone 9)

Well, er.....they are different in that they RUN, they don't CLUMP.

"Elephant ears" is a generic term for a large group of plants in the Aroid family that includes, but is not LIMITED to, COlocasia, Alocasia and Xanthosoma. I list only these 3, because they are the 3 top "elephant ears" sold to and grown by the mass gardening market under that global description.

Other aroids that may resemble "elephant ears" include plants like calla lilies, anthuriums, philodendrons, caladiums, amorphophallus, etc etc

To my knowledge, the only "elephant ears" that run are some of the colocasias. Alocasias clump, they don't generally run. Some Xanthosomas will run a limited amount UNDER the soil, but not OVER the soil.

Colocasia fontanesii, most of the colocasia escuelenta hybrids (Black Runner, Yellow SPlash, Fallax, Green Goddess, Chicago Harlequin etc), Colocasia antiquorum Illustris (Imperial Taro), Colocasia nancyana "Nancy's Revenge" all run, meaning that to multiply they send out stems that crawl along the top of the ground and root at intervals and send up new plants.

Colocasia dwarf Jenningsii also runs.

"Black Magic" is a colocasia escuelenta hybrid that clumps and doesn't run. Other escuelentas that clump are "Elepaio" (aka Milky Way) and Black Marble.

ALocasias are grown from bulblike tubers and they clump. Alocasia macrorhiza, ALocasia odora, ALocasia plumbea nigra, ALocasia portea, ALocasia culcullata, ALocasia wentii, and a ton of others, and crosses like "Portodora", offset by sending out small bulblets UNDER the ground that sprout and come up along side the parent a SHORT distance away. Many are trunk forming as well in warm climates.

Xanthosomas (sagitifolia, aurea "Lime Zinger", violacea, Mickey Mouse, etc) also clump like alocasias do.

You can Google any of these names and see photos online at lots of places.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 6:57PM
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