Colocasia - Elephant Ear for the Garden


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Welcome to Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. We are a private research and display botanic garden located near Raleigh, North Carolina (USDA Hardiness Zone 7b). Our retail mail order division allows us to make the best perennials from our trials available to gardeners around the world, some of which were developed here, some from our plant explorations, and others from breeders around the world. Between 1988 and 2010, Plant Delights Nursery introduced over 500 new perennial plants to US horticulture. In 2002, we were honored to be recognized by the American Horticulture Society for our lifetime of work in commercial horticulture. This image gallery is but a sampling of the great perennial plants available for gardeners around the world. We do not carry all plants pictured at any one time, but since our mission is to educate and inspire, we hope these images and the linked articles below will expand your garden horizons and interest. You will find an array of other interesting information and fascinating perennials throughout our website...thank you for taking time to visit.

Here at Plant Delights, we do not sell just the ordinary green elephant ear. We sell a wide variety of specialty Colocasia cultivars with unusual leaf and stem colors. We have elephant ears with chartreuse or black leaves, red or black stems, variegated elephant ears, and elephant ears with colorful veins and pikos (the button-sized spot where all of the leaf veins merge together). Our elephant ears range in size from the dwarf Colocasia fallax at just 1' tall up to the monstrous Colocasia gigantea (our best selling plant) with leaves up to 5' long. We have done extensive trialing of specialty elephant ears from the new Royal Hawaiian® series bred by Hawaiian breeder, Dr. John Cho. Although Colocasia esculenta is the main species grown in temperate gardens, we also offer other rare species including Colocasia gigantea, Colocasia fallax, Colocasia heterochroma and Colocasia affinis. We also grow other Elephant ear genera including alocasia and remusatia too.

Elephant ears like to live in fertile soils with plenty of sun, water, and fertilizer. Most of the elephant ears can be grown in either standing water or in regular soil. However, some such as C. gigantea do not like wet feet. Many of the newer colocasia cultivars produce tight clumps, or are slow to run, but some of the older selections will run a bit and form a nice spreading colony. It all depends on your specific garden situation as to which elephant ears you should choose. Elephant ears pair well with a wide variety of garden perennials such as Agapanthus, Dicliptera, Hemerocallis, Iris, Lantana and Salvia.

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