Black Stem Elephant Ear

An impressive tall variety with dark black-purple stems, topped with huge leaves that emerge dark plum purple and then mature to dark olive green with purple spines; a stunning garden or pondside accent plant for a tropical look.

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Characteristics

Species: fontanesii

Other Species Names: Cocoyam, Dasheen, Taro

Plant Height: 72 in.

Spread: 72 in.

Evergreen: No

Plant Form: arching

Summer Foliage Color: olive

Minimum Sunlight: partial shade

Maximum Sunlight: full sun

Ornamental Features

Black Stem Elephant Ear's attractive large heart-shaped leaves remain olive green in color with pointy purple spines throughout the season. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Black Stem Elephant Ear is an open herbaceous perennial often grown as an annual with a shapely form and gracefully arching foliage. Its wonderfully bold, coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced garden composition. This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It has no significant negative characteristics. Black Stem Elephant Ear is recommended for the following landscape applications; Accent Mass Planting General Garden Use Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Black Stem Elephant Ear will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It grows at a fast rate. This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division. Black Stem Elephant Ear is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.