Marsh Elephant Ear - Wild Taro
Colocasia esculenta - (Linnaeus) Schott
Araceae (Arum) Family


Plant is an upright perennial herb from an underground stem that produces new growth through stolons. Preferred habitat is fresh or brackish marshes, moist ditches and backwater sloughs of flood plains. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are slightly drooping from stout leaf stalks (sometimes as much as three feet long); oblong to oval-shaped to heart-shaped with stalk attached to leaf between shallow lobes (sinus).

Flower scape is shorter than the stalk; spathe portion cylindrical to tapering; yellow with a slight opening at the margin. Flowers occur in the summer.

These plants are invasive but easily controlled by simply snipping the long root stem each spring when new growth begins to emerge. It is reported that Elephant’s Ear foliage contains an irritating raphide which could cause mild dermatitis in some people.

Does not produce tubers, but rope-like stolons several feet long. This plant is a widespread introduction which has become a pest in aquatic gardens and along streams in fresh-water marshes.

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