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PlantFiles: Elephant Ear, Taro
Colocasia esculenta 'Black Magic'

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Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Colocasia (kol-oh-KAY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: esculenta (es-kew-LEN-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Black Magic
Additional cultivar information: (aka Jet Black Wonder)

10 vendors have this plant for sale.

69 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Category:
Bulbs
Ponds and Aquatics
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Spacing:
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Hardiness:
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

Danger:
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Foliage:
Deciduous
Herbaceous

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)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

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

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 45 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Profile:

18 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive PotEmUp On Oct 7, 2013, PotEmUp from Fremont, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have had this plant for several years and I have made many divisions. Like Pocsmaven, I have not really seen it grow robustly. I have had them in pots getting full morning/mid day sun. I put a couple in a new location - South facing front porch, with the pot shaded by shrubs. FInally I get a real ELEPHANT ear. They are especially beautiful when viewed from behind with the sun shining through them & showing the wonderful veining.

Neutral Pocsmaven On Apr 12, 2012, Pocsmaven from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

Is there a smaller, newer version of this plant? I have two in pots on a windowsill in Fort Lauderdale, FL, since December and they have hardly grown. They have bloomed but the leaves are still only about 4"-4 !/2". On the tag, it says "Place in an bright, well-lit areaof your home. Water once a week or when the soil feels dry. Prefers growing temps between 65 and 85 F.
Also, "Black Magic" and Alocasia, "Patent Pending Propagation Prohibited". .

Positive stella On Apr 5, 2010, stella from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have grown this plant for several years in North Carolina and find it to be easy and undemanding (but thirsty). I do not lift my bulbs in the fall and the plants come back just fine. Not every cultivar will do that.

Positive Jackie5_0 On Jun 29, 2009, Jackie5_0 from Summerville, SC wrote:

I bought a house that had these growing, the house had been empty and no one was caring for them, they were over 4' tall (in the south with plently of 90-100 degree days). I transplanted them to my other house, in the shade and forgot about them. Within 3 days I had 4 new shoots with giant leaves. Im not good at keeping them watered but they are doing great with a good watering every 3 or so days, even in the summer heat.
One clump of them had been sticking out of the back of my truck and the 1 mile slow ride killed all the leaves. I left it sitting in a bucket of water and in about a week I had new shoots.

Neutral cam2 On Apr 17, 2009, cam2 from Houston, TX wrote:

I got this plant as a "pup" off my mother's plant two years ago. I have kept it in a pot where it has done very well. It reproduces by sending "pups" on long stems and by underground runners. Keep it in a container in semi-topical areas or it can spread out of control.

Positive djk61 On Oct 4, 2007, djk61 from Coralville, IA wrote:

I picked up this plant last fall about this time on clearance from Lowe's . I let it die back after the first frost and put the tuber in a bucket of sand in the basement. I potted it up in the spring and it was a little slow at first taking off; the new leaves seemed to burn easily with a full day's sun so I put in partial shade until it was over two feet tall. At that point it did wonderful in full sun and grew to at least 3.5 feet in the pot. Mine seemed to tolerate less than constant wet feet and still did great. I have now taken a few plantlets from the sides and started them in small pots and will try keeping the parent in a large pot near the picture window for the winter and hope it makes it. As almost everyone else has said, it is an interesting and pretty easy plant to have. - David

Positive bmorte On Sep 16, 2007, bmorte from McKinney, TX wrote:

I have this plant in a rain garden at the edge of a woodland area. It is far out-performing all other plants in this garden. It is a very beautiful plant.

Positive mombear52 On Sep 14, 2006, mombear52 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

A friend has this plant growing in a medium sized container in full sun in Madison, WI. It only gets watered when it rains or when I water it which is only once a week & yet it has survived while other plants have not survived such infrequent watering. We intend to bring it inside as soon as the temperatures start to drop & treat it as a houseplant for the winter...friend says if it survives, great. The impatiens which were planted around the base of this plant didn't make it. Probably too much sun & not enough water. Cheryl Roeben

Positive Kittylover On Aug 8, 2006, Kittylover from Carrollton, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a great plant - I got a bunch of them it in the spring - very small plants - just a leaf and root - used miracle gro hose feeder and now- August - they are huge - 4' tall loaded with leaves - I planted them both in full sun and partial shade - both areas are doing well - The ones in full sun had some trouble with the real hot days we had -105- the top leaves turned brown and had to be cut off - but it has new leaves constantly

Positive Suze_ On Jan 19, 2006, Suze_ from (Zone 7b) wrote:

Very nice plant, but best grown in hot, dry climates with a soaker/weeping hose laid down and left in the bed (with a quick connect attached) for easy watering. Drip irrigation setup would also work. Otherwise, you'll be standing outside manually watering it almost every day in July and August.

Best in partial sun here. Along the edge of a well-limbed up tree canopy is about right.

Positive Osteole On Sep 18, 2005, Osteole from Lamar, AR (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have mine growing in a sandy, compost rich soil with occasional watering. They will go limp if not receiving enough water, but a good dousing and they spring back to life.

Positive JaxFlaGardener On Feb 24, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant has returned with new growth after surviving a winter with a few nights of 28 F on occasion in NE Fla. I covered it last Fall with a few inches of hay to protect the tubers. I have been able to transplant several offshoots to new locations in my yard, trying it in various amounts of sun and shade. I find it does best and gets a deeper "black" color by being placed in a sunnier spot than I would typically use for a Colocasia. This variety has not produced as large of leaves as my other C. esculentas, but it makes an attractive contrast and adds a "mysterious" accent to a planting.

Positive Silverfern On Feb 22, 2005, Silverfern from North Shore City (Auckland reg
New Zealand wrote:

The black taro also grows well here in Auckland New Zealand. Gives a lovely tropical feel to your garden.It is easy to keep looking tidy - just chop ragged leaves with a knife. Looks so good under the shade of palm trrees. Will grow in boggy ground where nothing else will grow

Positive Sequee On Nov 7, 2004, Sequee from Carmel, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

These are awesome and easy to grow. The first year I have leaves on mine that measure over 3 long and 2 feet across. It is growing in a shaded area that stays wet much of the time. In fact, the landscaper at work tried several different plants there before I put these bulbs in. And more good news - they spread so well that next year I will have enough bulbs for work and home!

Positive foodiesleuth On Jun 3, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

My son has benn separating and planting keiki (little babies-in Hawaiian) of the black taro whenever they appwar around the original plants he planted a couple of years ago.

Beautiful color contrast in our front borders among the other tropicals. Easy to propagate and we are looking forward to using it as fillers where needed.

The rhizomes are expensive to buy.

Positive larryw591 On Jun 2, 2004, larryw591 from Yukon, OK (Zone 7b) wrote:

Once the weather warmed up this plant had very vigorous growth and stands up well to the Oklahoma winds. I have it as a border plant in my pond. I have it in about 6" of water in a 3000 gallon pond

Positive amorning1 On Dec 7, 2003, amorning1 from Islamorada, FL wrote:

Very fast growing, and vibrant not sure I could kill it if I wanted to. I could put it on the street in front of a semi, but each bulb fragment would simply make a new plant!
Is surprisingly hardy. Often sunk in ponds. Can be aquired at http://www.alocasiaaddict.com - Black Magics start out green and then turn blueish black after exposed to sunlight. Propagates by above and below ground runners. Potted specimens should never be allowed to dry out, it won't die , but it will lose leaves and go dormant until moister conditions.


Positive lupinelover On Sep 7, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love the way the leaves start out green, then turn black within a couple of days. The individual leaves seem to be longer-lasting than the plain species, making the over-all look of the plant much better.

Neutral Thaumaturgist On Jul 10, 2003, Thaumaturgist from Rockledge, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Instead of bringing the container indoors for the winter,
you can dig up the plants from the container, separate the
bulbs or corms and save them inside the house in a dry place
for the winter. In the spring, plant those bulbs anywhere in your water garden and they would come out with new vigor.
This way you are not only multiplying but also relieving your plants from being root bound in the container.

Positive lovemyponds On Jul 9, 2003, lovemyponds wrote:

I have a small pond with a waterfall running into a medium sized pond. I have many plants but my favorite one is the Taro. It is so very beautiful and growing rapidly. My problem is that I must bring it in doors for the winter and do not know the proper way to do this. If anyone can help me with this I would be most grateful.

Thank you, jessie g

Positive mystic On Oct 30, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This taro has great color and is beautiful in the water garden.It's also called'Jet Black Wonder'.

Regional...

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

, (3 reports)
Dothan, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
New Market, Alabama
Wetumpka, Alabama
Malvern, Arkansas
Azusa, California
Clovis, California
Davis, California
Fremont, California
Fresno, California
Laguna Niguel, California
Los Alamitos, California
Los Angeles, California
Oakland, California
San Francisco, California
Van Nuys, California
Southington, Connecticut
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Deltona, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Holiday, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (4 reports)
Keystone Heights, Florida
North Palm Beach, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Seffner, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Augusta, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Hawkinsville, Georgia
Hinesville, Georgia
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Honomu, Hawaii
Wahiawa, Hawaii
Brookfield, Illinois
Godfrey, Illinois
Moline, Illinois
Vevay, Indiana
Coralville, Iowa
Beaver Dam, Kentucky
Smiths Grove, Kentucky
Baker, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Bossier City, Louisiana
Deridder, Louisiana
Mandeville, Louisiana
Maurepas, Louisiana
Slidell, Louisiana
Easton, Maryland
Lonaconing, Maryland
Isle, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Byhalia, Mississippi
Gulfport, Mississippi
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Jackson, Mississippi
Madison, Mississippi
Natchez, Mississippi
Ballwin, Missouri
Moberly, Missouri
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Carmel, New York
Copiague, New York
New Hyde Park, New York
Davidson, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio (2 reports)
Franklin, Ohio
Grove City, Ohio
Yukon, Oklahoma
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Florence, South Carolina
Irmo, South Carolina
Ladys Island, South Carolina
Laurens, South Carolina
North, South Carolina
Okatie, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina (2 reports)
Hixson, Tennessee
Johnson City, Tennessee
Westmoreland, Tennessee
Austin, Texas (3 reports)
Blanket, Texas
Carrollton, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Garland, Texas
Gladewater, Texas
Houston, Texas (4 reports)
La Porte, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Victoria, Texas
Hallieford, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Lake Forest Park, Washington
Lakewood, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin



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