Tropicals: Violet Stem EEs

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

When I dig my Violet Stem EEs, I always make sure to get all the runners that have come out from them. If you follow the runners, there is usually a baby EE on the end. You can also cut the runner into pieces, each with a node. Fill a shallow tray with about an inch of good potting soil, lay the pieces horizontally on the soil, cover with about an inch of potting soil. Water lightly, keep warm. Baby plants will sprout from each piece.

Thumbnail by Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Here are the runners.

Thumbnail by Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Here they are cut into pieces. The ones on the left are the tips of the stolons. I make sure to leave a node at the cut end.

Thumbnail by Calalily
North Vancouver, BC(Zone 8b)

Cornering the violet stem EE market are you Susie?? You must have a couple of hundred there - LOL

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Liz, yes, I love these in my tropical beds. They are so easy to grow.

North Vancouver, BC(Zone 8b)

I only have one sad little one - how old is yours?

Rochester, NH(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the great info., Cala! I've got some more greenhouse work to do.

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Not old, I've only had them about 4 years. I learned how to propagate them last year. I only had them in the pond the first 2 years. I thought they had to be in water. Last year, I put a few in the ground to see how they would do. They did great. Last fall when I dug the EEs, I noticed the runners. I decided to chop them into pieces and see what would happen. That's when I discovered how to make more fast!!

Toadsuck, TX(Zone 7a)

Thanks Cala!!! I just got some from Toadlily, wonder if she knows this??? Leisa, oh Leisa???

"eyes"

Newnan, GA(Zone 8a)

wait!!! you told me to let they get frosted on!! I have to dig them too?????

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

TiG, it won't hurt for them to get frosted like cannas. Actually, they are hardy where you are.I went ahead and dug everything today.
RATS----just remembered I left a brug out that I wanted to keep. Hope it doesn't frost tonight!!!

Grandview, TX(Zone 7b)

eyes,
I sent you a large enough one that had plenty of nodes on it so you could get enough to make a showing next year.Mine are in large pots so they usually make the babies on their own, but I just might have to try this :-). I have just been so busy getting ready for the cold I haven't had time for anything, but since mine are in pots, I can do that in a few weeks when I get a little time. They are all snug in the GH now.
TL

Ewing, KY(Zone 6a)

Cala now ya tell me after I potted mine after I had pruned the roots and potted the babies that where there. Proabably good I didn't know I had no room to keep all those anyway. Cala that would be great info and pic's for the database. (ducking so Cala don't throw something at me) lol

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

OK, I'll try to add them.

Kingston, OK(Zone 7a)

Do other EE's do the same thing? Or just certain ones.

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

Any stoloniferous ones (the ones that put out runners) will work the same way.

It is tempting to propagate them for the sake of propagation, but I have so many Violet Stems that I don't know what to do with them. When I was sweeping up from transplanting some, I found about 15 little inch-high pups that I planted. All did fine. I also potted two old corms that were down in the roots of a clump and forgot about them. I just came across them the other day and both pots were full of pups -- after doing nothing most of the summer. I counted 17 in one pot; some are 14-16" tall. Now add all those to my original 40 or so .....

I read the other day, from a serious EE guy, that he had simply cut runners into 2" segments (no mention of nodes) and got pups from each one. That's what I'm interested in trying. I wonder whether to let the ends cure first (or maybe they would prune up before curing), or just put them right in ... or on ... or half submerged in the soil. I guess I'll try all of the above and see what works best. I'm more interested in trying it with my Illustrises and Green Taros, of which I don't have so many -- and both of which are very popular with the pond crowd.

Hey Cala, if you have that big a market for Violet Stems, do you want to make a deal for some? I sure would love some of your brugs (esp. European), passifloras and Sweet Potato Vine cuttings.

One project for next week will be lifting the pups from a bed of Black Taros, Illustrises (from which I'll harvest the runners) and giant mutant coleuses (I just measured the coleuses the other day, and some have reached 4'7" -- 5' if you count the bloom spikes -- twice the height of the Pretoria Cannas I planted as a backdrop for the EEs). I'm going to take out the smaller coleuses, leave the giants, mulch the whole crew in with 2' of hay and rig a coldframe over them. One end abuts the greenhouse, so they'll get a little warmth there.

Next year, if the Fontanesiis reach full height, I'm going to add them to that bed. It's only a few feet deep, but That will give me three layers of black-themed EEs: Fontanesiis at 7', Blacks at 5' and Illustrises at 2.5' -- with coleuses all in and amongst, with minis and trailers as a border. The bed is backed by a tall rock wall and I'm thinking about planting Margarita (chartreuse) and Ivory Jewel (variegated chartreuse) sweet potato vines at the top of the walls to hang down. If I have my Omega Cannas by then, I may try to shoehorn two or three in the back (they have huge leaves and can reach 16'). I'd like the passage by this bed to be like a tropical cavern.

This message was edited Friday, Nov 1st 3:32 PM

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Rik, I actually have enough Violet Stems. I should have lots of brugs in the spring. I didn't know there was a variegated Margarite SP vine. Sounds nice. I should have plenty of passifloras too.

Toadsuck, TX(Zone 7a)

Giant Mutant Coleus????? Got a Pic, Rik??


"eyes"

Chariton, IA(Zone 5b)

Is Violet Stem the name of the EE or are there certain ones that have that color of stem? I'd like to get a couple of them started for next year. Will these be something you will add to the next EE co-op Susie?

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

They're both: Colocasia violacea, common name: Violet-stemmed Elephant Ear or Taro, or just Violet Stem. The entry in the PDN is really mixed up -- says they are a cultivar (not a species) named "Fontanesia." I suppose they meant 'fontanesii', which are called 'black stems' and which are also a natural species. Whoever posted it must have gotten it from an aquatic plant seller -- they never get EE info straight.

Brugie, you're welcome to some of mine; they're bigger than the plugs! Besides, a trader was generous with me, so I'd like to "pass it on."

Eyes -- Sorry, no pics. I don't have the technology. They're just Rainbows that I grew from seed, kept tight together and didn't pinch back in order to get a lot of height on them. I planted them out when they were maybe 2.5' tall, but that was under and around and behind the black EEs, so they just kept growing to get to the light. Once they caught up with the EEs, I pinched them so they would branch more. The EEs have gotten taller with each new leaf and the coleuses have stayed a little ahead of them -- and their leaves are as big as lettuce leaves! I've only had to stake a couple of them after storms.

Whenever I broke off suckers to keep them growing, they would root right where I dropped them. So, I have smaller plants of them that you are welcome to, or cuttings or seeds .... I planted some among my tomatoes up on the terrace and some behind my Snowball marigolds in the front border, and they got just as massive; I just didn't force them to go so tall. Come to think of it, though, I did have to take a few out of the border when they got too tall and replaced them with suns. So I have those extra, too. They're probably 3-4' tall.

Chariton, IA(Zone 5b)

Thanks Rik, I'd love to have a start or two. I don't have a lot to trade though at this time of the year. If you are up to doing just postage, I can do that. Let me know what you want me to do.

S.

Carlisle, PA(Zone 6b)

Hey Cala, Thanks for the EE co-op. I am still confused over Black stem & violet stem Taro. I am sending a pix of the plant I have been putting in the pond each summer. I don't see stolons coming out of it, but I can divide it. Let me know if it is the same as you sent me. Thanks, Buttoneer

Thumbnail by Buttoneer
Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Oh my, that's gonna take one of the experts, I cant' tell.

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

I've got a good idea what it is, but I need some bits of information to be sure:

What did Cala send you?

A picture of a few of the adult leaves

If you've been putting it in the pond each summer, then you must have had it long enough to reach adult height. How tall does it get?

What are the pups attached to when you separate them?

Colocasia esculenta fontanesii (Black Stem) and Colocasia violacea (Violet Stem) are really night and day. That is definitely not fontanesii/Black Stem, but it could be something besides Violet Stem. With the above info, I can tell you.

Carlisle, PA(Zone 6b)

Mine gets about 2 feet tall (no taller) I have not noticed any stolons. The pups are attached to the side of the plant. I will try to take a picture of the adult leaves & put them on this thread. Thanks in advance for your help. I bought the entire (huge) plant for $ 5.00 several years ago & it is getting huger & huger (wider, not taller)

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

If there were stolons, you would know it! They're not subtle when they're on a conquest for new territory! In the time you've had it, their territory would include your whole pond -- and I can say that without knowing how big your pond is.

However, whether they have stolons or not is not conclusive. I've seen stoloniferous and non-stoloniferous forms of Black Magic, Imperial/illustris, and I know of both forms existing in green taro (mine are stoloniferous, and I have a friend out west who has non-stoloniferous green taro). The first time I saw this, I was convinced that the difference was basic enough to define a new species, but I've come to see it as a fairly common variation. I haven't seen non-stoloniferous Violet Stem, but I haven't been around unrelated lines.

Your additional info is pretty conclusive, but I'll wait for the picture of the adult leaves. I'd wouldn't want to say it's this or that, then have to change it.

Carlisle, PA(Zone 6b)

Ok, here's the pix of one of the leaves & stem of this unknown Colocasia, Planter Rik. The ball is now in your court. What is it & if you want me to send you a division & do a swap, it's my pleasure. Thanks, Buttoneer

Thumbnail by Buttoneer
Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

Yup. What you have there is Red-stemmed Taro, apparently nonstoloniferous. They are popular among pond people, but, for some reason, they don't make the crossover to the aroid collectors very often.

It's a red-stemmed form of green taro -- the kind that's grown agriculturally for taro root, not the backyard elephant ear.

The pond sites all list it as Colocasia multiflora, but they almost never get botanical names right. So I wouldn't bank on that. If you want the botanical name, I can pose that to my aroid collecting crew.

I always want to trade for something I don't have, and this is an attractive plant. I'll email you.

Carlisle, PA(Zone 6b)

Yes, please post the message to the aroid groups & let me know definitely what it is. The stem is actually a dark purple. I'll take an inventory of what I have & we'll do a trade. Thanks, Buttoneer

Harrisville, MI(Zone 5b)

PlanterRik,School time!I just got this yesterday, I was drawn to it by the Ruffled leaves,It has runners all over it,But I have not seen the leaves so pleated before ,is this from being pot bound?

Thumbnail by rootdoctor
Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

No, the ruffled edges are not from being potbound. If anything they would just be a little stunted/not reach the height you'd expect given a length of time. Violet Stems are usually more puckered in the face and more round-leafed. They look light deprived. See how the stems are elongated and can't hold the weight of their leaves? Sun exposure inhibits elongation in plant cells; conversely lack of sun results in longer, weaker cells.

I agree that they need more root space. I would either pot them separately or plant them at least a foot apart, if you want a cluster/clump effect. They should also be gradually introduced to more sun, or you'll have some sunburnt leaves. If you can, put them in dappled light for now and move them into full sun over a week to ten days. You'll notice that the next leaves will be distinctly different and their petioles much stronger. Violet Stems are actually rather stocky plants, never reaching more than four feet.

If you want lots of them, you can use the method Cala started this thread with. I find it safer to get the severed nodes started in moist paper towel before expecting them to make it on their own in soil -- or you could just make sure the soil stays wet for the first couple of weeks. These are semiaquatice/marginal and often grow on banks or in shallow water. They will grow larger in soil, but still need consistent moisture.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images
    BACK TO TOP