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November 11, 2019

If there’s one plant that just screams tropical it has to be Colocasia, more commonly known as elephant ears. Southern Gardening is at Truck Crops Branch Station checking out some new and exciting selections. There’s something about the tropics that produce plants with large coarse leaves that make a bold statement in our Mississippi landscapes. Colocasia check all the boxes with their big leaves and big texture. Let’s look at some that have become my new favorites. Black Sapphire Gecko features amazing dark black satin leaves on tightly clumped stems having a dark maroon color. When the wind moves the foliage, it seems to change color right before your eyes. The foliage of Dragon Heart is variable from a dark velvety green to almost black. Maximus is an upright growing Colocasia having bold purple leaves with bright chartreuse veins. This plant lives up to its name. Tea Party is a pretty dwarf Colocasia selection. The black leaves are cupped upward and quite beautiful in the bright sunlight. An interesting feature is that Colocasia readily produce “pups” through the year. This is how the plant produces new plants. Be sure to grow in the full sun and provide consistent soil moisture; in fact they can be grown in standing water. If you can’t make it to the tropics, then just plant these tropical Colocasia in your garden.  I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.

Department: CREC-Coastal Research & Ext Center

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