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Colocasia esculenta ‘White Lava’ (Taro)

Taro 'White Lava', Elephant Ears 'White Lava'

Colocasia esculenta 'White Lava', Taro 'White Lava', Elephant Ears 'White Lava', evergreen perennial, variegated leaves

Primarily grown for its spectacular foliage, Colocasia esculenta ‘White Lava’ (Taro) is a tuberous, frost-tender perennial with long-stalked, heart-shaped, glossy, fresh green leaves. Held on glossy, dark purple stems, the large leaves are adorned with a creamy-white band down their center, radiating out into the side veins. Each leaf is further highlighted by a large purple spot where the leaf attaches to the stalk. Unlike the leaves of Alocasia which point skyward, the leaves of Colocasia droop and point toward the ground. Reminiscent of calla lily flowers, the blossoms consist of a yellowish-green spathe and spadix. They are not particularly showy and are infrequently produced. ‘White Lava’ is a hassle-free tropical that makes an unforgettable focal point and brings a distinctly tropical look to gardens and containers.

  • Grows up to 4 ft. tall (120 cm) and 3 ft. wide (90 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. Best leaf color production in sun.
  • 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.
  • All parts may cause mild stomach upset if ingesting 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.

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.

Requirements

Hardiness 8 - 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 Elephant Ears, Taro
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (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
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ (Giant Elephant Ear)
Colocasia esculenta ‘Mojito’ (Taro)
Colocasia esculenta ‘Illustris’ (Taro)
Colocasia esculenta ‘Fontanesii’ (Black Stem Elephant Ear)
Colocasia esculenta ‘Hawaiian Punch’ (Taro)
Colocasia esculenta ‘Blue Hawaii’ (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.
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Requirements

Hardiness 8 - 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 Elephant Ears, Taro
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spread 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spacing 36" (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

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