This is a plant with purplish leaves & normally likes stagnant water to grow.
What is the botanical name of this plant?
this is a Colocasia, I've been told its called Black Beauty although the leaves are more purple as you said. i have it growing in my fish tub and it loves it there. it's a member of the araceae family, closely related to what we call dasheen Colocasia esculenta, which is edible.
Colocasia esculenta var. antiquorum; it is black dasheen, a type of Japanese taro. Water gardening enthusiasts just changed the name to "black magic taro" for advertising purposes.
Definitely edible Carol, although the Hawaiian taro varieties are much more productive for the effort, and many are very ornamental!
This is very interesting! How do you eat them/ what you eat from them?
Hi Alexandra; the entire plant is edible, but only when well cooked.
The corms should be steamed for 45 to 90 minutes depending how large they are; cooking them longer, rather than less, helps with their eating quality.
The leaves can be cooked by stripping the green fleshy part away from the veins of the leaf; placing it in a sauce pan with oil, salt, and water and boiling it till it is so tender that it is falling apart (30 to 45 minutes).
The younger parts of the stem can be prepared like the leaves; slice the younger parts into 1/4 inch sections and cook.
Usually only the leaves and corms are eaten as the stems, including about the top 1/2 inch of the corm, are taken for propagation material.
The main reason for cooking the plant very well before eating, is there is calcium oxalate in it. Cooking the material well causes the toxin to fall apart, and then the product contains free calcium. Very good for you, along with lots of beta-caroteen, nutrious fiber, etc.!
Their are many recipes for taro, the above preparation is a good start. Use the corms like a potato after cooking; home fries or hash browns are really good made with taro corms. The leaves & stem can be eaten like spinach; after boiling them, sautee them with butter & garlic, you'll be impressed!
Taro is part of our diet in Costa Rica. But this one black beauty is considered as an ornamental plant.
The corms of Taro are prepared in a soup where you can add pieces of potatoe, also roots of Manihot esculenta, chayote = Sechium edule, pieces of green banana, sweet potato (my favorite), squash , cabbages etc. This soupo also has pieces of meat. This soup is called "olla de carne". It is a very complete meal. I am vegetarian so I just eat the large variety of vegetables included in this traditional dish. Ah also we add pieces of onion, celerey, culantro, oregano and garlic.
In our traditionl food the leaves of taro are not included. But because the leaves size, they can be use to wrap some food.
Ah I forgot to tell you, that I have this black beauty in my garden. During the dry season the corms of this plant go to a dormant state. Now that is our wet season, the plant already has new leaves.
When we sailed in the South Pacific, we relished being invited to village feasts or the local post church feed because Taro (Dalo, Kalo..many similar names for the same plant) was always served and it was our ONE green vegetable...except for any cabbage we might have left over after 3 months of no stores!!!!
Taro refers to Colocasia esculenta.
EE's can be Colocasia, Alocasia, Xanthosoma, Cyrtosperma, or other plants with similar shaped leaves.
oh now i am really confused! elephant ear can be any number of plant types -it is just any big leaf plant shaped like an elephant ear?
while taro is always a colocasia?
is that what you are saying?
thanks for your patience with my confusion :)
Most folks usually refer to Aroids with the type of heart shaped leaf that taro has, as being EE's.
The name Taro is used for a lot of aroids that are edible. German Taro is a Xanthosoma, I think Chinese Taro is as well, Giant Swamp Taro is a Cyrtosperma, Common Taro is a Colocasia. And it's common for common names to overlap.
well i have some big plants that are spreading and i call them elephant ears but they might be taro elephant ears--
these plants send out runners near the surface of the dirt and start a new "ear"
when i pull up the plant it has long roots
i have another elephant ear type plant that came from a giant round bulb--it is in a pot so doesnt' spread--i assume it must be a different type--and lastly i have some small ones-they seem to only grow less than a foot tall--
i need to water them all a lot since it is dry here and if i don't water them daily they wilt--
ok--hope i don't wear out my welcome here but------------what makes a plant an aroid?
Colocasias send out runners, although I'm not sure if they all do. A lot of them like to grow in water, so that could explain the wilting if they're only in soil. But not all the "Elephant Ears" like that much water. Some only need a little watering with time to dry out a bit in between. You need to know which ones you have because they can have very different requirements.
I have been fighting Colocasia esculenta for years. I planted one in a damp spot thinking it would do well there but it did far better than well. It sent out runners 60 feet away. Been pulling it out forever and I'll never be rid of it. Maybe I just better start eating it. Poi dear????
Oooops, Alice...how funny. When ever anything runs like that the whole landscape plan needs revisions, eh?
sometimes i think it might be best to let it take over an area since it seems so happy and easy to grow there--depends on the plant tho--elephant ears can take over since i love them--vines -no thanks! they start to climb there way into everything! like my airconditioner unit--
Colocasia esculenta subsp. antiquorum, Asian Taro, sends out runners and is invasive.
Colocasia esculenta subsp. esculenta, Hawaiian Taro, produces new corms ('oha) right next to the parent (makua), and does not run!
Easy choice between the types for a garden.
Dave, you are correct as usual and I really value your opinion. I must have the Asian variety and it is too happy here. The two cultivars certainly close cousins, they look identical.
Linda, my lot is just too small to let this EE go; my neighbors would not appreciate it. :-) Snakes and other creepy crawlies however would love the damp shade under it's umbrella like leaves.
A whole valley of taro fields on Kauai.
i understand--the thing is that i find it hard to grow a lot of tropical looking plants in texas --kind of dry here--and so i guess i am thrilled that the elephant ears are so easy-and i love to see the great growth while other plants are laying low in the heat--also it seems that what is invasive in more humid areas are not so invasive here--
also my yard is big--i can imagine that elephant ears in a small yard would quickly take over! and of course this is my "plant of the season" -i am always checking it out-transplanting the new starts- giving it an extra drink-showing it to anyone and everyone---i think you get the picture!
watch-next year i will be taken over by them!
LOL, watch out.
Mine actually moved to areas with little moisture inthe soil alathough you are right, it is always over the top humid here.
well we want to visit south carolina some time but not in the summer--we need to get away from the heat in summer!
saint helena island sounds exotic---is it?
St.Helena is one of many barrier islands along the SE coast. Hilton Head Island, a bit south of us is the fancy resort community around here. St. Helena has a few gated communities but It is still a largely rural, farming community. We are surrounded by rivers that are really inlets since they are all salt and miles and miles of creeks. There are many, sort of exotic, jungle like places around here but you can't always see them. You'll find the tastiest shrimp and crabs here. While it is not a fancy upscale island in general and there are a lot of very poor people but we are all rich in natural resouces here.
Not the best photo but I took it last night and it was easy to find. LOL This was the back yard last evening. The tide is not always this high, sometimes we just have a view of marsh grass with the river in the distance.
beautiful!! and such a nice description of where you live
have you always lived there?
lucky you for the shrimp and crab too!!
Beautiful picture from Saint Helena Island, Ardesia. I have never visited where you live but It sure sound's more inviting than some of the other "beach" area's that I have visited in South Carolina;-) The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston is a favorite of mine.
Gorgeous, Alice...really!!! You are so lucky to live in that part of the world!!
Carol, aren't we both fortunate and thankfully we know it . :-)
Linda, we have lived here about 10 years. About 35 years ago we had lived in Charleston and we always planned to retire there but by the time we were ready the real estate prices had gone through the roof so we came downthe coast a bit. St. Helena is outside Beaufort and if you have seen any Pat Conroy movies, many of them are shot here.
oh--i have seen pat conroy movies/and read his books-great santini comes to mind first--i haven't been to south carolina--when is the best time to check it out? spring? i think fall is good for the places with the changing trees, summer for places that are a little cooler than here--can you tell i am getting an itch to travel? hubby and i are trying to plan a little get away now before i return to teaching
Spring is always pretty here but fall is my favorite time of year. The temps have moderated, there are still plenty of flowers and it is just a more relaxed time. No fancy leaves though. LOL
You never want to visit SC in the summer - it is hotter than hot here right now.
sounds like a great place to visit in the fall--so many places are perfect for fall--if only schools still had fall break!