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  Colocasia gigantea hardiness?
From: RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com on 2004.11.25 at 10:55:15(12415)
This seems to be a VERY hardy plant for me, and I would expect it to be the most hardy of the Colocasia? I usually leave mine in the ground during the winter but always dig up a few bulbs just in case. Last year I accidentally left a bulb uncovered and exposed in one of the beds and didnt notice it until spring. Suprisingly, along with all of the others that normally come back like gangbusters...it survived. Our lowest temp recorded at my house last winter was 20F. While it was a relatively dry and mild winter, it still suprised me that the bulb took ice, snow and numerous deep freezes and still managed to stay alive. I am in the Upstate area of South Carolina, borderline 7b-8a, but would expect this plant to be hardy in much colder regions, possibly 6a?
Thanks, happy holidays,
Michael Mattlage
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From: "David S." <maui4me at charter.net> on 2004.11.26 at 09:40:58(12426)
I have from what all indications are C. gigantea growing outdoors here in NE
Tennessee, right on the Virginia state line. I've had it for over ten years
and generally just mulch it heavily with leaves. It seems to do just fine
and has made it through a couple of winters without mulch, although it's
very slow to come up and not as large the following year. Mine have in
years past taken on an almost fountain growth habit, with the fairly large
leaves forming a cupped shape and extending out horizontally. They are
interesting when it rains and they fill up and then dump the water, sort of
like one of those bamboo fountains. They have flowered in the years they've
gotten big, with multiple spathes forming in a fan shape.

David Sizemore

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From: RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com on 2004.11.26 at 15:35:48(12428)
David, it is funny I thought about those little bamboo water features too when the gigantea fill and drop water. The most unusual thing about them are the little appendages that can be found on the undersides of the leaves. They can be quite invasive too.
Michael
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From: Tony Avent <tony at plantdelights.com> on 2004.11.27 at 09:40:20(12430)
Aroiders:

The Colocasia gigantea that we sell came from Hayes Jackson of Alabama,
who got it from a next door neighbor, who moved to the US from Thailand. I
suspect that most of this in the US originated from this clone. It has
survived 5 degrees F here, with no mulch, but it never reaches much more
than 4' in height. This form is stoloniferous, but the stolons don't run
far from the parent as in C. esculenta var. aquatalis.

For spring, we will have a new form, collected in 2003 by Petra Schmidt in
Thailand. These plants are much larger...make that massively larger than
the form we grew before. Seedlings planted in the ground in May reached
6-7' tall x 10+' wide in 5 months. In the wild, the clump was around 9'
tall with leaves much larger than a normal person. This will be our first
winter with this new form in the ground, but we've got our fingers crossed.
I'm curious if there are more forms of Colocasia gigantea being grown out
there in aroid land.

Tony Avent

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From: "David S." <maui4me at charter.net> on 2004.11.27 at 11:44:11(12431)
David, it is funny I thought about those little bamboo water features too
when the gigantea fill and drop water. The most unusual thing about them
are the little appendages that can be found on the undersides of the leaves.
They can be quite invasive too.
Michael

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From: "David S." <maui4me at charter.net> on 2004.11.27 at 18:36:46(12437)
> Aroiders:
>
> The Colocasia gigantea that we sell came from Hayes Jackson of Alabama,
> who got it from a next door neighbor, who moved to the US from Thailand.
I
> suspect that most of this in the US originated from this clone. It has
> survived 5 degrees F here, with no mulch, but it never reaches much more
> than 4' in height. This form is stoloniferous, but the stolons don't run
> far from the parent as in C. esculenta var. aquatalis.
>
> For spring, we will have a new form, collected in 2003 by Petra Schmidt in
> Thailand. These plants are much larger...make that massively larger than
> the form we grew before. Seedlings planted in the ground in May reached
> 6-7' tall x 10+' wide in 5 months. In the wild, the clump was around 9'
> tall with leaves much larger than a normal person. This will be our first
> winter with this new form in the ground, but we've got our fingers
crossed.
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From: RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com on 2004.11.28 at 17:06:43(12443)
I got my plant from PDN a few years ago and the first year it grew HUGE. The leaves were a good 4-5 foot and spread was easily 10 foot. Perhaps it was all the goat and chicken poo? The past few summers they have not gotten quite so big. they are definately very hardy though...the first freezes of this season cut them back but since then they have all put out new leaves.
Michael
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From: Tony Avent <tony at plantdelights.com> on 2004.11.29 at 04:01:46(12445)
David:

Very interesting about your form of C. gigantea. It could be that this is
a clone that is eaten throughout several parts of Asia. I also wondered
why it was named "gigantea" until I saw this new ecotype.

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From: "Bamboo Chik" <bamboochik at earthlink.net> on 2004.11.29 at 06:41:12(12446)
Michael, do you have any idea why they are not getting as large? I know my Colocasia, no matter which species, is very attractive to voles so I always dig them up even though it is not necessary in my climate. Could it be that they are nibbling on the rhizomes and causing this? ...b.f.n...deb/S.AL

----- Original Message -----
To: aroid-l@gizmoworks.com

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From: RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com on 2004.11.29 at 17:54:49(12451)
Deb,
The ones that I do dig for storage dont have any signs of damage from pests although I have seen some of my Alocasia get chomped on by what I thought was grubs. Originally I had one plant of Colocasia gigantea, which was planted by itself in a large bed and left to grow huge in its first year. The following years it has produced dozens and dozens of pups and I have left them to grow up next to the Momma plant, only thinning occasionally when it gets too crowded. Maybe all the plants are competing for water/nutrients and thus not getting as big. I have transplanted several bulbs to different parts of the yard, but they dont seem to quite that big anymore either. Strangely, that same summer I got 7-8 foot Xanthosoma violeceum and an Ensete almost 15 foot tall (cant get them over 10 foot now). The soil gets a fresh layer of manure every spring, so Im really not sure.
Michael
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