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Conservatory Greenhouse

Colocasia esculenta
  • RHS AGM

taro

C. esculenta is a tuberous, evergreen perennial to 1.5m in height, with long-stalked, heart-shaped or arrow-shaped, rich-green leaves with 60cm blades on metre-long stalks. Grown as a staple food in tropical Asia

Other common names
aivi
bleeding heart
see morecallaloo
cocoyam
dalo
dasheen
eddo
Egyptian ginger
elephant ears
imo
kalo
keladi
talas
Arabian cocoa root
Egyptian cocoa root
Synonyms
Colocasia formosana
Colocasia antiquorum
see moreAlocasia formosana

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Moisture
Poorly–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer White Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or East–facing or North–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1B
Botanical details
Family
Araceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Potentially harmful
All parts poisonous if eaten uncooked, and may irritate skin. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Colocasia can be deciduous or evergreen, tuberous-rooted perennials with arrow-shaped or rounded leaves, often prominently veined; flowers are minute, on a spadix held within a small white spathe, but are seldom produced in cultivation

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Trop. E Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Under glass, pot up tubers in loamless potting compost. Keep in bright, filtered light and high humidity. Water freely and apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly when in growth. Keep just moist in winter. Keep tubers dry and frost-free when dormant. Requires 21 degrees minimum to stay evergreen

Propagation

Propagate by division in winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Architectural
Pruning

No pruning necessary

Pests

Glasshouse red spider mite, aphids and glasshouse whitefly may cause problems

Diseases

Generally trouble free

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