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Elephant Ear, Taro
Colocasia esculenta 'Coffee Cups'

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Colocasia (kol-oh-KAY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: esculenta (es-kew-LEN-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Coffee Cups



Ponds and Aquatics

Tropicals and Tender Perennials


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage




Other details:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tuskegee, Alabama

Yarnell, Arizona

Gainesville, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Brunswick, Georgia

Hazlehurst, Georgia

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Raleigh, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio (2 reports)

Blythewood, South Carolina

Camden, South Carolina

Clarksville, Tennessee

Mont Belvieu, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 20, 2009, will335 from San Antonio, TX wrote:

This is a very easy plant to grow. Use a rich soil, and keep it moist, In south Texas it does better in morning sun or dappled sunlight.


On Nov 6, 2008, gothqueen from Gainesville, FL wrote:

Grows best in a pond or bog in Florida


On Jul 1, 2007, hbrimmer from Camden, SC wrote:

This plant is a wonderful specimen plant for the garden. In zone 8b it is not a full sun plant as advertised. Mine was in full sun and I was forced to move it to a situation where it gets morning sun and plenty of afternoon shade. Under these conditions it is thriving.


On Jan 20, 2006, Suze_ from (Zone 7b) wrote:

Colocasia 'Coffee Cups' was discovered in the wild by Indonesian botanist Gregory Hambali and brought to the US by aroid expert Alan Galloway. Colocasia 'Coffee Cups' makes a stunning 6' tall clump of Colocasia 'Fontanesii'-like leaves (glossy olive green) with a dark, purple-black stem. The unique feature is the dramatic leaf cupping, even more dramatic than with C. 'Big Dipper'. As the leaf fills with water, the stem gives enough for the leaf to dump out its catch before refilling...fascinating. Obviously, it performs best in freshly ground soil. C. 'Coffee Cups' sends out above-ground runners, but only in fall. All of the plants previously sold in the US under this name are actually C. 'Big Dipper'.