Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Giant Elephant Ear
Colocasia gigantea

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Colocasia (kol-oh-KAY-see-uh) (Info)
Species: gigantea (jy-GAN-tee-uh) (Info)

37 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Ponds and Aquatics

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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

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:
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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6 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive siren77hr On Jul 14, 2010, siren77hr from Gulf Breeze, FL wrote:

I love this plant. I just planted the tubers about 3 months ago and they have already filled in the whole corner. Fast and easy growing here in in my NW Florida garden. Couldn't be any happier.

Neutral Metrosideros On Jul 14, 2010, Metrosideros from Keaau, HI wrote:

Colocasia gigantea is referred to in Hawai'i as 'iliuaua.

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

Colocasia gigantea is an incredible plant. It is slow to get started in my North Carolina Garden but once July rolls around, watch out!

Positive DanKistner On Jul 23, 2009, DanKistner from Winter Haven, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love "Big" plants and this is certainly one of them!

Positive redcamaro350ss On May 1, 2009, redcamaro350ss from Statesville, NC wrote:

Not had much time growing this plant. (mine are only about four inches tall now) They do start pretty easily from seed but in an experiment we did in a class at NCSU they required cold stratification. The seeds seem to take a while even after that and may require more patience than anything. I started out with two plants, but after planting them (6 weeks later) some more of the seeds germinated. After they germinate growth is rapid!

Positive Michaelp On Mar 22, 2008, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

Taste test for Iliuaua
Iliuaua is a good Table variety,The Corm, is similar to Bunn Long but is not as dry in Texture, and has a different flavor, I like the flavor,
--Iliuaua corm is best eaten while still growing well, before it starts to send growth to the corm [late summer and fall], if eating the Mother Corm, -[as the main corm get tough and acrid when it is making offset corms.] Just pull the whole plant and take the leaves and corm for eating and re-plant the Huli, [to get more taro growth and small Taro plants for planting later].
If the plant is mature and beginning to slow down on leaf production it is better to wait for the offset corms to fully develop and the top to die back, then just harvest the offset corms for eating.
The leaves are tough and don't fall apart when cooked, this makes it great for wrapping other food in and steaming or baking, --I like to use a Iliuaua leaf first, then several leaves from Bunn Long, Kai Kea, or Kakakura ulaula , then add meat, Taro Corm,and salt, and spices, and then wrap it all up in the Iliuaua leaf,and tie it with string, and steam for at least 1 hour, when it is un-wrapped all the other filling is nicely contained in side.
Iliuaua leaves have more calcium oxilates [itch] than my other Taro's, so cooking time and temp must be at least an hour, longer with the big leaves. --[sometimes I just toss the Iliuaua leaf in the compost after cooking, and eat all the others wrapped up in it.]- If making cooked greens with the leaves just use the young leaves, the older ones will require a very long boiling time. and are too tough for my enjoyment.

Positive joan30157 On Sep 26, 2007, joan30157 from Dallas, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I love these elephant ears, they provide shade for the smaller varieties that can't take the full sun. They also provide a great habitat for frogs and lizards. Also great for hide and seek.

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

Plant Delights offers this description:
"Resembling an alocasia, the 6' tall grey petioles (stalks) hold the large silver-veined grey-green leaves outright. When the plants mature, the tip of the leaf arches downward and each leaf develops bizarre appendages on the'll just have to see it for yourself. This clone of C. gigantea makes a fast-multiplying clump, but without the long runners of many C. esculenta forms...still plenty to share"


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

Tucson, Arizona
Malvern, Arkansas
Clayton, California
Escondido, California
Torrance, California
Gulf Breeze, Florida
Navarre, Florida
Seminole, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Colbert, Georgia
Dallas, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Horse Cave, Kentucky
Kenner, Louisiana
Rienzi, Mississippi
Joplin, Missouri
Billings, Montana
Roswell, New Mexico
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Statesville, North Carolina
, Ontario
Fannettsburg, Pennsylvania
Aynor, South Carolina
Florence, South Carolina
Amarillo, Texas
Austin, Texas
Baytown, Texas (2 reports)
Mansfield, Texas
Midlothian, Texas
Odessa, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Chesapeake, Virginia
Manassas, Virginia
Concrete, Washington

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