Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Blue Taro, Blue Tannia, Purplestem Taro
Xanthosoma violaceum

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Xanthosoma (zan-tho-SO-muh) (Info)
Species: violaceum (vy-oh-LAH-see-um) (Info)
Additional cultivar information: (aka Purple Stem)

Synonym:Xanthosoma nigrum

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tropicals and Tender Perennials

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

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

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

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

A hardy and reliable aroid for yard or pond here in North Central Florida. Stands multiply, becoming larger every year. Dormancy is triggered by cooler temperatures and shorter daylength. In ground tubers easily survive the low 20's. Can also be utilized as an aquatic or a bog marginal, in fact, that's the easiest way to keep them watered in the Florida heat. Plants in my yard have reached 4-5 feet before in years of plentiful rainfall. Pestfree here.

Positive glen74 On Jun 19, 2008, glen74 from Effingham, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I absolutely love this species. I have been growing it for over 5 years and it has always managed to take center stage on the porch. I grow my specimen in full sun from 12 noon onward and keep it constantly moist. This plant, like others in the elephant ear tribe, is a heavy feeder. I feed mine a weak solution of regular Miracle-Gro every time I water. Leaves are gigantic and are overall green with a slight blue cast, especially the newer leaves. The stems are a striking purple color with a gray-blue cast. Very striking when planted in a large container with 'New Gold' Lantana, variegated Chlorophytum, and 'Dragon Wing Red' Begonia, however, I find that Xanthosoma violaceum will overpower and shade out the other plants unless the container is very large. For the last two years I have grown it as a specimen in a pot specifically for it and no other plants to share the container have been included. This Xanthosoma really does get large.

I am able to overwinter my plant in a bright, warm room and keep it a little on the dry side in the winter. I offer it a very weak dose of fertilizer once a month when cool weather is here. The plant is not attractive at this time and most winters I have had it go into a state of dormancy, with only one leaf the entire winter. At this point I do not fertilize and only water to keep the soil slightly damp.

Positive emilyrasmus On May 20, 2005, emilyrasmus from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This beautiful aroid has beautiful green leaves and and attractive stems that turn a dark purple color after they've received enough sunlight. They do best in bright indirect light with a lot of moisture. This plant is particularly susceptible to pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. To prevent such infestations, I spray them with neam oil every 3 or 4 weeks.


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

Gainesville, Florida
Miami, Florida
Effingham, Illinois
Cincinnati, Ohio

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