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Hardy Elephant Ear, Taro, New Guinea Shield

Alocasia wentii

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Alocasia (a-loh-KAY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: wentii (WENT-ee-eye) (Info)



Ponds and Aquatics

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 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)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Goleta, California

San Leandro, California

Big Pine Key, Florida

Clearwater, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Miami, Florida

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Virginia Beach, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 12, 2015, Beach_Barbie from Kure Beach, NC (Zone 9a) wrote:

I live very close to the ocean, on the southern portion of the NC coast, and have had some problem keeping this plant happy. The reason is that we have such well-draining soil and we don't get a lot of rain, at least not enough to keep this plant growing. I have to give it supplemental water almost daily, especially during the summer.
I definitely think it's worth it though.


On Aug 12, 2010, Alwyn from Berkeley, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

mandikat is mistaken about his plant's identity. all parts of this plant (Allocasia wentii) are poisonous. some people may call this taro but it is not the same taro that produces an edible tuber (Colocasia esculenta).


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

From the remote mountains of New Guinea, Alocasia wentii is one of the very few alocasias that we have found to be winter hardy in our Zone 7b climate. The glossy bronze-green leaves reach 1' in length as they adorn this tightly clumping elephant ear. As the breeze blows, you will enjoy the contrasting metallic-purple leaf backs.


On Oct 15, 2005, mandikat from Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I bought this root at a super market produce counter as edible taro for less than a dollar. It's now in it's fifth year and has spread to cover a four foot square area. It's in partial shade by a pond but not actually in the water. I mulcn it for winter with a thick layer of water lettuce which has to be removed from the pond in fall anyway. It was cheap and is very undemanding with a very impressive leaf display.