Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Elephant Ear, Taro
Colocasia esculenta 'Big Dipper'

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

18 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ponds and Aquatics
Tropicals and Tender Perennials

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 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:
Unknown - Tell us

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

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There are a total of 9 photos.
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5 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive chuck7701 On Mar 13, 2011, chuck7701 from McKinney, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Nice coloring, dark green top, purple stalk and underside. Bigger bulbs were 4-5 feet tall in second year.

As mentioned before, this plant is pretty prolific via runners. In two years, i went from one bulb to several dozen.

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

Big dipper is one of a couple of elephant ears with upturned leaves that can catch water. So does Coffee cups.

Positive mswestover On Oct 2, 2009, mswestover from Yulee, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

At first, I had it in the ground, but with the "droughts" that we get in zone 9a, I could not keep it wet enough. It has grown from a little pup to a big plant in six months. Beautiful when it rains and you watch the leaves catch and spill the rain water.

Positive bwilliams On Dec 22, 2005, bwilliams from Louisville, KY wrote:

I named this several years ago as Big dipper. It was being grown in hawaii and a few other places with no name. A mutation off of violet stem colocasia.

Positive henryr10 On Sep 11, 2004, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

Very deep 'Dipper' shape to the leaf.

Probably a sport of 'Violet Stem' as it has the same colors and leaf surface.

During a rain the leaves will hold an ounce or two of water before bending over and releasing.
Very pretty to watch.

VERY heavy pupper and runner, much more so than 'Violet'.


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

Cabot, Arkansas
Yulee, Florida
Louisville, Kentucky
Saint Louis, Missouri
Raleigh, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Baytown, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas

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