Alocasia

A complex group of tropical plants within the Araceae.

Alocasia Macrorrhiza

Originating in Southern Asia and growing throughout the Southern Pacific. Ancient Polynesians (Hawaiians) call this plant `Ape. By some, this plant is referred to as "wild" Taro.

This variety of Alocasia is sometimes referred to as elephant ears or upright elephant ears. Upright is used as a description of the leaves standing straight up pointing skyward. The descriptive comparison to an Elephant's ear probably came from another plant (perhaps Taro, Colocasia esculenta) with leaves that do not stand upright, but rather point towards the ground looking like the droopy ears of an Elephant. All together, the description was applied to the Alocasia Macrorrhiza describing them as "UPright Elephant Ears", I have shortened it all and refer to them from time to time as "UPees".

The Alocasia Macrorrhiza shown within this site can easily grow to a height well over 6 feet. The leaves push out of the center of the plant from within the innermost leaf stem. After the leaves unroll and open the tips of the leaves can reach heights of 10 and 12 feet! The leaves are very impressive with widths about 2 feet and lengths reaching 4 feet. In some cases even larger.

As the leaves die off a dry brown husk will remain. If the husk were to be removed you would see a ring under the husk. This ring is a scar from the leaf that was there. The rings are a good indicator of how many leaves the plant produced.

When actively growing, the stalk grows larger with each new leaf. Under tropical growing conditions, the stalk will grow to about 4 inches in diameter or more. The stalk can reach heights of about 6 feet or more in warmer tropical climates. In less than best conditions the stalk might grow like vines along the ground producing plantlets from the stalk at varying intervals. If the plant does not have the best growing conditions, water, temperature, and light, it will begin to go dormant indicated by each new leaf getting progressively smaller. The plant will eventually slow down until it receives the proper care. If the proper conditions are restored, the plant will revive from the smallest of remaining piece of the tuber that can be found. When the plant is returned to an environment with the proper growing conditions, it will again start to come alive with new growth.

Review the "Book of Records" page and see if yours are larger than the recorded sizes.

Alocasia Plumbae

Some Alocasia have been described as "black". The Plumbae variety shown within this site have a dark purple color. Dark enough to call black. While this variety is new to me, I have been told that the Plumbae variety will get as large as the Macrorrhiza.
Plumbae or Plumbea? I am not sure of the correct spelling, I believe Plumbae is correct.

Plumbea is listed within this site for search key words where spelling of Plumbea might occur that way. Please forgive me.

Growing
Tips
The UPee Photo Album Plant List Organic
Beds
The UPees Book of Records
Colocasia Esculenta
Mail Order FAQ The Book Store
Pest Management
Contact Information

This Alocasia information site has been designed for the hobby grower. Everyone is invited to explore the pages within this site and hopefully find it full of information on how to grow Alocasia. Please report any problems or bad information.

UPees 20006