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Elephant Ear, Taro 'Black Magic'

Colocasia esculenta

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)
View this plant in a garden



Ponds and Aquatics

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

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

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


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


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

Citronelle, Alabama

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

Merced, 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

Sarasota, Florida

Seffner, Florida

Tallahassee, 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

Myrtle Beach, 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

Mansfield, 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 24, 2017, snowbirdalabama from Pleasant Grove, AL wrote:

I just have a question/concern. We are going to plant some black elephant ears, but are we likely to do harm to a pet? We can keep ours away, but there are some wandering dogs. Do they try to eat them? Would they just get a tummy ache...or would it be worse?


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.


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.


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.


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.


On Apr 17, 2009, cam2 from Gustine, TX (Zone 8a) 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.


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. - Dav... read more


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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!


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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'.