Colocasia, Elephant Ear, Taro 'Black Runner'

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 Runner


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:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:



36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 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


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

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:

Sparkman, Arkansas

Brooksville, Florida(2 reports)

Clearwater, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Miami, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Bonnyman, Kentucky

Gonzales, Louisiana

Piedmont, Missouri

Clemmons, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Ellenboro, North Carolina

Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina(2 reports)

Cincinnati, Ohio

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Shelbyville, Tennessee

Desoto, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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

Black Runner is great for its color and its ruffled leaf edges...very artistic.


On Jul 28, 2009, jlj072174 from Raleigh, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I purchased a couple of these last year and planted them around my fish pond. They did great there last year; however, this year, they came back a little smaller (only getting about 18 inches tall. I seem to recall them being much taller last year (3' or so). They are sending up runners all around the area though. So far, I'm pleased with it.


On Jun 9, 2006, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

'Black Runner' overwintered here in zone 6 with about 6 inches of mulch. Slow to emerge in late spring, though, so mark the spot if you try this.
Our temps got down to zero at one point, but other than that, it was a mild winter here.


On Jan 9, 2006, lbkeown from Shelbyville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Great. So much fun. Grows fast. Need lots of water.


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

My favorite of the 'Black' EE's.

Compared to 'Black Magic' or 'Wonder' ,
Colocasia esculenta 'Black Runner' has a ruffled wavy edge.
This gives it a fuller more interesting appearance in my opinion.

Of course there is also the running for which it is named.
'Black Magic' is a clumper or pupper.
Our 'Runners' have only pupped a few times but always have at least 4 runners per plant going.
This running starts as young as a 3 leaf plant.

These runners can be allowed to finish into a new plant or cut into segments, w/ a node or two per piece, and started as cuttings.
Just push the segment horizontally into moist soil, bag and stand back.
A new plant should sprout within a week of two.

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