Colocasia esculenta 'Blue Hawaii'
Common Name: taro 
Type: Bulb
Family: Araceae
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers not showy
Bloom Description: Yellow spathe and white spadix
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual, Water Plant, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Wet Soil

Noteworthy Characteristics

Colocasia esculenta, commonly called taro or elephant ear, is a tuberous, stemless, frost-tender perennial of the arum family (see also calla lily and jack-in-the-pulpit) which typically grows 3-6' tall and as wide. For gardeners, it is primarily grown as a foliage plant with huge, heart-shaped to arrowhead-shaped, conspicuously-veined, downward-pointing, peltate leaves (to 2' long) on long, stout, succulent stems. As the common name suggests, each leaf purportedly resembles an elephant's ear. The typical aroid-type with yellowish-white spathes and spadixes are infrequently produced and usually hidden by the foliage when they do occur. This species is also commercially grown as a food crop in Hawaii (poi is made from the tubers) where it is commonly called taro.

Genus name comes from the Greek word kolokasia used for the root of Nelumbo nucifera.

Specific epithet means edible or good to eat.

'Blue Hawaii' is a vigorous elephant ear selection that features 1-2' long, medium green, leaves with contrasting purple petioles (leaf stems) and veins. The leaf margins are also slightly wavy. Mature plants can reach up to 3' tall with a 2' spread. The typical aroid-type inflorescence is not particularly showy. This plant is protected by patent number PP20003.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Uses

Lends a large tropical look to mixed borders, rain gardens, water margins and large containers. Excellent as a specimen or in groups.