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
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

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

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Where to Grow:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Gainesville, Florida

Jupiter, Florida

Miami, Florida

Effingham, Illinois

Cincinnati, Ohio

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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... read more


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.