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  "Elephant Ear"??? Man, I hate that term!
From: Steve at ExoticRainforest.com (ExoticRainforest) on 2008.03.09 at 13:43:53(17135)
I'm sure just about all of you have seen plants in your local nursery, Home Depot, WalMart or Lowe's being sold this time of year with the name "Elephant Ear". I hate that term and no one at any of our local stores has ever been able to tell me what the species, or base species if it is a hybrid, might be. I've always assumed some sort of Xanthosoma but can't find anything. One note I recently received said it was a very large Caladium, but if it is, I can't find out anything about it. Does anyone on this forum know for certain? Although I've never seen one produce a spathe I'm told it produces a large white inflorescence. This is one plant I'd love to do a page for my website on!!


Steve Lucas

From: exotics at hawaii.rr.com (Windy Aubrey) on 2008.03.09 at 19:36:32(17141)
Maybe I can help a bit.
I have 'Elephant Ears' :>) naturalized on our property. It's very common here in Hawaii and is the species Xanthosoma sagittifolium.
It does get a beautiful huge spathe that is slightly pinkish and has a very distinctive odor.
I saw one in bloom the other day and if it is still photogenic I will get you a shot.


From: RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com (RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com) on 2008.03.09 at 23:53:20(17148)
Ditto to what Brian said but alot of the big box stores also have "Upright
Elephant Ears" as well....lol. From the images on the boxes they come in they
are most likely Alocasia odora.

Michael Mattlage

From: abri1973 at wp.pl (Marek Argent) on 2008.03.10 at 00:49:45(17149)
So let's start an action "every plant with a label" informing accurately about the correct plant's name no matter that it can be a species or cultivar. First when the plant comes from the first owner should by labelled correctly. The owner should identify what he has when he wants to sell plants. This clausule should be involved in the international law.
----- Original Message -----
From: ExoticRainforest
From: honeybunny442 at yahoo.com (Susan B) on 2008.03.11 at 01:16:13(17159)
Michael, you can't go by those images! How about the photos of the bright yellow Arum cornutums..?? Or the neon purple Zantedeschia Anneke?

From: RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com (RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com) on 2008.03.11 at 23:34:55(17160)
Your right Susan but the local Walmarts and Home Depots, (around South
Carolina) have both "regular" MAMMOTH elephant ears....as they call them, which
have an image of C. esculenta, and the "Upright" kind, (A. odora). Given that
both species are pretty common in gardens around here I'd say it could be
either but to tell you the truth I havent even picked up one of the tubers for
comparison so I couldnt guarantee it.
I guess what people call "Elephant Ears" can be regional too, although most
people wouldnt know the difference between Colocasia esculenta, Remusatia
vivapara, Alocasia mac., or any of the others.

Michael Mattlage

From: mossytrail at hctc.com (mossytrail) on 2008.03.12 at 02:09:23(17161)
> Steve I find that just about all plants labeled
> commercially as Elephant ear are Colocasias esculenta.
> The Xanthosomas are a bit harder to find and I have
> rarely seen them commercially available. Yet many times I
> have seen photos of Xanthosomas being used to sell
> Colocasias as well as Alocasias.

And the problem is not just in the nusery trade! I have
seen photos of Alocasia and Xanthosoma being used
interchangeably even in what are supposed to be
identification guides. In fact, I had to make note of this
fact in both my Aroideana articles. In one of my sources, a
photo of Xanthosoma was used to illustrate a species account
of Schismatoglottis!

And when we consider popular books other than identification
guides, the problem is not limited to Araceae, either. I've
lost track of the number of times I've seen photos of
seedling cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), too young to have
developed a trunk, incorrectly captioned as saw palmetto
(Serenoa repens).

From: Steve at ExoticRainforest.com (ExoticRainforest) on 2008.03.12 at 07:15:08(17162)
Thanks for the assist to everyone! I've rewritten my web page on Colocasia esculenta which now reflects some of the information I've been sent. Still more to learn but I think I've got a better handle on this now.


Steve Lucas

From: jonathan.ertelt at vanderbilt.edu (Jonathan Ertelt) on 2008.03.12 at 14:43:10(17164)

I am without a doubt no expert in this area of proper names for the
commonly grown large leaf aroids, (why I didn't add my two cents that
may not be worth a plugged nickel here) but I do believe that you
have at least two different genera illustrated in your page on
Colocasia. Let's see how others better versed in this group weigh in.


From: Thomas.Croat at mobot.org (Tom Croat) on 2008.03.12 at 17:07:38(17165)
Dear Steve:

I quickly read through your page on Colocasia esculenta and
found it very useful and thoughtful. Certainly those elements that you
have there represent what falls in the parameters of C. esculenta but I
am no expert on this Asian genus. I have never seen the very large
plants grown by Brian Williams. They would appear to be twice as large
as any plant I have seen anywhere in cultivation. Perhaps he is correct
that it represents a tetraploid form. At least one of the two smaller
forms are what has been called Colocasia esculenta var. antiquorum.
Check the pictures in Exotica.


From: Steve at ExoticRainforest.com (ExoticRainforest) on 2008.03.12 at 17:11:38(17166)
Re: [Aroid-l] "Elephant Ear"??? Man, I hate that term!If so, I'd love to know. Can you be specific? The page has been reviewed by Julius as well as several others who are familiar with the group known as Colocasia esculenta.

Steve Lucas

From: Steve at ExoticRainforest.com (ExoticRainforest) on 2008.03.12 at 19:57:49(17167)
Thanks for reading the page Tom. I've been trading email much of the day with Leland Miyano and he appears to feel the photos are representative of the plant as it exists in Hawaii. I've been very hesitant to rewrite this page since I knew there would be those who would doubt some of the information. And that's why I did my best to make sure it was verified before putting it on the net. But, as I hope you know, I have no need to be right. I just want the information I publish to be accurate. This year, based on our tracking service, I'll have around 250,000 individuals read something on the site. If for no other reason than the large number of people who have found the site and return often, I need the information to fall within what is scientifically correct.

Thanks again!


From: piabinha at yahoo.com (piaba) on 2008.03.16 at 22:03:33(17184)
well, you all know by now what a mess common names
are. i have not yet seen elephant ear to refer to
Anth., Philo., not even Caladium, it's usually
reserved for Colocasia, Xantho. and sometimes

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