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This is a stunning tropical looking plant with dark purple heart-shaped leaves. It is quick growing and will survive in water. It must be protected from frost in winter.
Taro, Elephant Ear
Colocasia ‘Black Magic’ (Taro). The Taro is believed to be the oldest plant in cultivation. The leaves of this variety are large, heart-shaped, dark purple to black, with a chalky bloom on the undersides, and purple stems.
The plant is toxic in its raw state and the edible corms have to be steeped and boiled to remove the calcium oxalate, and the needle-shaped raphides (crystals) in the plant cells. The leaves are, for this reason, a skin and eye irritant. Plants should be lifted and protected over winter in colder climates, as they are only hardy to 7C. The colour of the leaves is best in bright sunlight.
These handsome tropical plants can be grown as marginals, in a bog garden or in the border, providing they are kept moist. They are grown as foliage plants or as vegetables.
Italics = data drawn from parent genus or speciesView Full Plant Finder Record