Alphabetical Plant Listing

Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris' (Taro)

Taro 'Illustris', Elephant Ears 'Illustris', Imperial Taro 'Illustris'


Primarily grown for its spectacular foliage, Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris' (Taro) is a tuberous, frost-tender  perennial with huge, long-stalked, heart-shaped, blackish purple leaves adorned with dramatic bright green veins. The giant leaves can measure up to 3 ft. long (90 cm). 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 are infrequently produced in summer. Strong, fast growing, 'Illustris' is a hassle-free tropical that makes an unforgettable focal point and brings a distinctly tropical look to the landscape, water gardens or large containers. In cold winter areas, it is best grown indoors as a houseplant during winter.

  • Grows up to 3-5 ft. tall (90-150 cm) and 3-4 ft. wide (90-120 cm)
  • 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) 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 mite, aphids and glasshouse whitefly.
  • This plant is not edible and can be harmful to humans if ingested.
  • 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.

Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Splendid Elephant Ears

Often grown for their dramatic foliage reminiscent of elephant ears, Colocasia and Alocasia are terrific tender perennials that provide a strong ornamental interest and quickly give a touch of the tropics in gardens or containers. Impossibly exotic, their architectural shapes make them perfect for planting as focal plants or massed to create a tropical effect. Easy to grow, they stand proud and bold provided some basic rules are respected.Read More

Not sure which Colocasia - Taro to pick?
Compare All Colocasia - Taro

Buy Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris' (Taro)

Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 12
Climate Zones 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Colocasia - Taro
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 12" – 36" (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

Buy Plants

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Colocasia - Taro

Guides with Colocasia - Taro


Photo Credit - Courtesy of Proven Winners - www.provenwinners.com

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.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 12
Climate Zones 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Colocasia - Taro
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spread 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spacing 12" – 36" (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Colocasia - Taro

Guides with Colocasia - Taro

Plant Calculator

How many Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris' (Taro) do I need for my garden?

%
ft
ft

Your Shopping List

Plant Quantity
Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris' (Taro)

Find your Hardiness Zone

Find your Climate Zone

Find your Heat Zone

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!

Create a New Collection

Optional. For your reference.


Move Selected Plants to a Different Collection


Delete Collection

This field is required.