Xanthosoma 'Lime Zinger'
Common Name: elephant's ear
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Araceae
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Greenish white
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful

Culture

This tropical aroid is winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10. In the St. Louis area, it must be overwintered indoors or repurchased each spring. It is best grown in rich, deep, moist but well-drained soils in part shade. Leaves may bleach or scorch in full sun, but also may become too green in full shade. Site in locations protected from strong wind. This plant thrives in hot and humid conditions as long as it receives consistent moisture. Tuberous rhizomes should be planted in spring after the last frost date. Rhizomes may be planted directly in the ground (about 18” apart) or in large containers that may be placed above ground or sunk into the ground. Dig up rhizomes in fall before first frost for overwintering indoors in a cool, dry place (in the same manner as for cannas). Container plants may be brought indoors before frost for overwintering in a cool location either as a houseplant with reduced watering or as a cut back dormant plant.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Xanthosoma is an herbaceous perennial from tropical America. It is closely related to Colocasia and Caladium. It is grown for its bold, tropical foliage.

Genus name comes from the Greek words xanthos meaning yellow and soma meaning a body with reference to the yellow inner tissues of some species.

‘Lime Zinger’ is a cultivar that is noted for producing huge chartreuse to lime green arrow-shaped leaves (to 18” long) on plants typically growing 3-4’ tall. Plants are grown for their foliage and not for their flowers which are infrequently produced. Flower is a greenish-white spathe enclosing a white spadix (to 9” long).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Leaf spots and virus may occur. Pythium rot and Rhizoctonia rot. Watch for snails.

Garden Uses

Tropical foliage plant for gardens and patios.