Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Elephant Ears

This past October I ordered some Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta) to plant in the front bed this spring.  There's nothing like seeing these huge, mammoth ears swaying in the breeze.  Your eyes can't help but be drawn to them in the garden.

This year I wanted something a little different from the plain green varieties that you find at the Home Depot and big box nurseries.  Plant Delights Nursery out of North Carolina had just the sort of plants I had in mind.  They specialize in rare perennial plants that gardeners and collectors seek.

Allow me to introduce you to the new inhabitants of my garden.  By the way, I just want to tell you, the folks at Plant Delights Nursery really impressed me with the care they take in shipping these plants and instructions they provide you with on how to care (and not care) for them when they arrive.

Black Magic
This is what Black Magic looked like when it arrived and I put him in the ground.  When new leaves appear, they are bright green and as they grow larger and older they turn a beautiful purple-black.  Black Magic gives a very dramatic look to your garden; especially when it's growing next to a plant that is bright green.

Lovey and I have had Black Magic elephant ears for many years and they are gorgeous and also grow well in large planters.

This is a photo of what Black Magic will look like as he matures.  See how pretty he is against the green plant in the background?  Please note that the photos I'm showing you of the mature plants come from the PDN website. 

Black Magic will grow to a width & height of 5'-6'.  The leaves will span 2'.

Mojito looks quite poorly doesn't he?  After I got him in the ground he got a little wind battered.

This is what Mojito's leaves will look like as they get larger.

Mojito will grow to a width & height of 3'.  Not sure how big the leaves will get.

You can't tell right now, but as Rhubarb grows it will have bright red stalks, thus the name. 

The stalks will grow to 4' with large bright green leaves.

Silver Leaf Dwarf
This is Sliver Leaf Dwarf and I think I'm most interested to see how this will look when it's clump is mature.

It is truly a dwarf in the elephant ear world, with it's clump growing only to about 18" high and 2' wide.  It will have leaves of velvety, medium green, each highlighted by a wide silver streak down the center vein with smaller silver veins radiating from the center to the leaf edge. The plants are adorned all summer with small yellow spathe and spadix flowers.

As these 'children' grow, I'll share their progress.

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