Elephant ears make striking additions to the landscape and look great in containers

The genus Alocasia (closely related to the genus Colocasia [elephant ear]) contains herbaceous, tuberous, and rhizomatous perennials primarily grown as foliage plants, also commonly called elephant ear. These showy, tropical-looking plants are valued for their large arrow- or heart-shaped leaves that are typically held upright on long, rigid, succulent stems. The leaves grow 12 to 36 inches long and are glossy, deeply veined, and sometimes conspicuously variegated.

Alocasia is a genus of approximately 70 to 80 species that range in size from 2 feet to 9 feet tall and from 2 feet to 9 feet wide, including A. odora (night-scented lily), A. x amazonica (Amazonian elephant’s ear), and A. macrorrhizos (upright elephant ears or giant taro). Alocasia elephant ears grow best in shade or filtered sun in environments with warm temperatures and high humidity. Easy to grow, they mature rapidly and make striking additions to the landscape, especially when mass planted in beds and borders. In colder climates, elephant ears can be container grown and moved inside during winter, but they are considered toxic and should be kept away from children and pets.