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Elephant's-Ear Alocasia

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Elephant's-Ear:

Phonetic Spelling
ah-loh-KAH-see-ah
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Alocasia spp. is a genus of 80 species of tuberous, herbaceous perennials from the tropical regions of Asia where rainfall is plentiful. It grows best where annual daytime temperatures range from 68 to 77 degrees F.,  in a shaded site with well-drained, humus-rich, fertile loam, though it does tolerate a wide range of soil types. Divided roots may be started indoors in pots or containers and set outside after the last frost date. Water and fertilize regularly. Plants can typically take up to 600 days to mature. Before first fall frost, dig up the pots and bring them inside where they can overwintered. Reduce watering in winter and return to the garden in spring.

Many species of this plant have the ability to heat the flowering spadix as the pollen becomes ready for fertilization. This heat increases the aroma released by the plant, attracting more pollinating insects as well as increasing the level of fertilization.

This plant rarely flowers, but when it does, the blooms are a creamy white. The leaves, however, are colorful.This plant is often found as an indoor houseplant or, if temperatures and moisture levels permit, as a summer ornamental. However, if grown in a pot, the plant will typically not reach its full height.

Diseases, Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

Alocasia are prone to spider mites. The plant is susceptible to high winds and, if sited outdoors, should be in a protected area.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Amazonica', 'Calidora', 'Frydek', 'Low Rider', 'Portora', 'Sarian', 'Yucatan Princess'
Tags:
#poisonous#houseplant#perennial#interiorscape#variegated leaves#summer flowers#spadix#spathe#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Amazonica', 'Calidora', 'Frydek', 'Low Rider', 'Portora', 'Sarian', 'Yucatan Princess'
Tags:
#poisonous#houseplant#perennial#interiorscape#variegated leaves#summer flowers#spadix#spathe#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Alocasia
    Family:
    Araceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    East Asia, Indian subcontinent, and Malaysia/
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Edibility:
    The corm and stem can be eaten, but must be thoroughly cooked to destroy the calcium oxalate crystals. Once cooked, it can be used as a cooked vegetable added to soups and stews.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 9 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 9 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a, 12b, 12a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spadix
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are seldom seen. However, they are small, clustered on a spadix and surrounded by a modified leaf (the spathe).
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Variegated
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are heart to arrowhead-shaped (12 to 36 inches long), each held singly atop long and sturdy succulent stems. Leaves are prominently veined and sometimes variegated.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN! SKIN IRRITATION SEVERE! All parts are poisonous and contain calcium oxalate crystals. This substance is toxic and makes the mouth, tongue and throat feel as if small needles are digging in to them. Poisonous by ingestion, dermatitis, and eye injury. Symptoms may include painful irritation of lips, mouth, tongue, and throat after chewing; difficulty of speaking; nausea and diarrhea, vomiting, delirium, and death. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should be especially cautious.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Needle-like, calcium oxalate crystals; possible proteins.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems