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Colocasia ‘Black Magic’

Taro

Garden

Wishlist

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Features

  • BloomsAugust to November
  • Height0.65m to 1m
  • Spread1m
  • Speed of GrowthModerate
  • Growth HabitStalked clump
  • Leaf ColourDark purple-black, grey, green

Description

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.

Characteristics

Perennial, Deciduous, Herbaceous or Aquatic

Other common names

Elephant Ear

Origin

Malaysia

Interest and use

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.

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Needs

  • LightFull sun or Part shade
  • HardinessFrost tender (min 5°C)
  • SoilFertile, Loamy, Boggy
  • WaterMoist or Wet

Cultivation

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.

Propagation

Division in spring.

Pests, diseases or disorders

Soft rot, bacterial blight, corm and root rot, and dasheen mosaic virus are common. Aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites occur.

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