Create Your Garden

Colocasia esculenta ‘Fontanesii’ (Black Stem Elephant Ear)

Black Stem Elephant Ear, Taro 'Fontanesii', Elephant Ears 'Fontanesii'

Colocasia esculenta Fontanesii', Black Stem Elephant Ear, Taro 'Fontanesii', Elephant Ears 'Fontanesii', evergreen perennial,

Colocasia esculenta ‘Fontanesii’ (Black Stem Elephant Ear) is a tuberous, frost-tender perennial with large, bold, heart-shaped, blue-green leaves adorned with dark green veins and a shiny black cast. They are borne atop striking purple-black leaf stalks. Unlike the leaves of Alocasia, which point skyward, the leaves of Colocasia droop and point toward the ground. Reminiscent of calla lily flowers, pale yellow flowers with a fragrance of papayas are produced in summer. Strong, fast-growing, Black Stem Elephant Ear is a hassle-free tropical plant that makes an unforgettable focal point and brings a distinctly tropical look to the landscape, water gardens, or large containers.

  • Grows up to 5-6 ft. tall (150-180 cm) and 4-5 ft. wide (120-150 cm). Spreads by its unique above-ground black rhizomes.
  • Performs best in sun or part shade in organically rich, moist to wet soils. Provide a sheltered location to protect the decorative leaves from strong winds.
  • Elephant Ears love water and nutrients. They require regular watering, particularly during dry summer periods. Provide regular fertilization during the growing season. The more you feed them, the larger they will grow. They can be planted in up to 6 in. (15 cm) of standing water.
  • Perfect as a specimen or in groups for beds and borders, near streams and ponds, or in large containers.
  • Generally disease free. Watch for glasshouse red spider mites, aphids, and glasshouse whitefly.
  • All parts may cause mild stomach upset if ingested without cooking.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses.
  • Native to tropical eastern Asia, Colocasia esculenta species was first brought to the Americas as a food crop for slaves. It was later promoted as an alternative crop to potatoes. Colocasia esculenta can tolerate a wide range of wet to dry sites and can easily invade wetland edges, swamps, blackwater streams, and riverine forests.
  • Find where this species is invasive in the United States.
  • Discover beautiful U.S. native plant alternatives.

Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 11
Heat Zones 8 - 12
Climate Zones 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Aquatic Plants, Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Araceae
Genus Colocasia
Common names Taro, Elephant Ear
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 5' - 6'
(150cm - 180cm)
Spread 4' - 5'
(120cm - 150cm)
Spacing 24" - 36"
(60cm - 90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Wet Soil, Deer, Rabbit
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Bog Gardens, Patio And Containers, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens, Water Gardens
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Colocasia (Elephant Ears) to pick?
Compare Now

Alternative Plants to Consider

Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ (Giant Elephant Ear)
Colocasia esculenta ‘Mojito’ (Taro)
Colocasia esculenta ‘Illustris’ (Taro)
Colocasia esculenta ‘Hawaiian Punch’ (Taro)
Colocasia esculenta ‘Blue Hawaii’ (Taro)
Colocasia esculenta ‘White Lava’ (Taro)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Best Foliage Plants for Your Garden
40 Tropical Plants for Your Outdoor Garden
Colocasia (Elephant Ears, Taro)
Native Plant Alternatives to Colocasia esculenta (Taro)
Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Splendid Elephant Ears
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
Buy Plants

Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 11
Heat Zones 8 - 12
Climate Zones 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Aquatic Plants, Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Araceae
Genus Colocasia
Common names Taro, Elephant Ear
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 5' - 6'
(150cm - 180cm)
Spread 4' - 5'
(120cm - 150cm)
Spacing 24" - 36"
(60cm - 90cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average, High
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Wet Soil, Deer, Rabbit
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Bog Gardens, Patio And Containers, Ponds And Streams, Rain Gardens, Water Gardens
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Colocasia (Elephant Ears) to pick?
Compare Now

Gardening Ideas

Plant Calculator

How many Colocasia esculenta ‘Fontanesii’ (Black Stem Elephant Ear) do I need for my garden?

Input your garden space dimensions

Your Shopping List

Plant Quantity
Colocasia esculenta ‘Fontanesii’ (Black Stem Elephant Ear) N/A Buy Plants

Please Login to Proceed

You Have Reached The Free Limit, Please Subscribe to Proceed

Subscribe to Gardenia

To create additional collections, you must be a paid member of Gardenia
  • Add as many plants as you wish
  • Create and save up to 25 garden collections
Become a Member

Plant Added Successfully

You have Reached Your Limit

To add more plants, you must be a paid member of our site Become a Member

Update Your Credit
Card Information

Cancel

Create a New Collection

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

    You have been subscribed successfully

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Join Gardenia.net

    Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

    Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

    Join now and start creating your dream garden!

    Find your Hardiness Zone

    Find your Heat Zone

    Find your Climate Zone