Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

'Illustris' Elephant's Ear Colocasia esculenta

Flower Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
Mature Size
5' 3'
Height: 3' - 5'
Spread: 12" - 3'
Proven Selections
Award Winner
  • Details


    Leaves have a dramatic green venation, which highlights its black background, loves wet conditions

    Award Winner
    Adaptable As Houseplant
    Foliage Interest
    Heat Tolerant
    Deadheading Not Necessary
    Water Plant


    Plant Type: 
    Height Category: 
    Garden Height: 
    36 - 60 Inches
    12 - 36 Inches
    12 - 36 Inches
    Flower Shade: 
    Foliage Colors: 
    Foliage Shade: 
    Container Role: 

    Plant Needs

    Light Requirement: 
    Part Sun to Sun

    The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).

    Maintenance Category: 
    Bloom Time: 
    Grown for Foliage
    Hardiness Zones: 
    8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
    Water Category: 
    Uses Notes: 

    Great in large containers or in the landscape

    Maintenance Notes: 

    According to the Humane Society of American Colocasia plants can be toxic to pets. This is means that the plants are generally identified as having the capability for producing a toxic reaction.

    This plant is not edible and can be harmful to humans if ingested.

    Colocasia form tubers and these tubers can be stored for replanting in the spring. To dig and store tubers follow these directions. First, allow frost to kill the top of the plant then cut back the stems and dig the tubers. Wash off any soil and then allow the tubers to dry. Wrap dry tubers in newspapers or pack them in peat moss. Label each tuber or group of tubers so you know what they are come spring. Store tubers in a dark, cool (35 to 45 F) place. Do not allow tubers to freeze.

  • 8 Reviews

    Browse reviews from people who have grown this plant.
    • Beautiful plant! Definitely gives a tropical vibe. I have limited success transitioning this to a houseplant in autumn, though —it survives, but doesn’t thrive. Probably my fault. Once I put it out on the deck again in the spring, it perks up quickly. A gorgeous elephant ears.

      , Pennsylvania
      , United States
      , 19 weeks ago
    • Lately most of my plantings are Proven Selections. I also own about 4 dozen ELEPHANT ears. I now have 1 illustris. I am looking for other verities and I plan on taking this in for the winter months to keep it growing (one of my favorites).

      Bruce Potter
      , New York
      , United States
      , 6 years ago
    • Won best of show at my county fair with this plant. Has the wow factor.

      John Ornes
      , 12 years ago
    • What a beautiful accent plant! Follow planting directions and you will be amazed! We are going to overwinter as a house plant and store a second plant in the basement.

      , Minnesota
      , United States
      , 12 years ago
    • I have 1 question about this plant. Do I have to take it to the basement and let it dry out till next spring?
      , Kentucky
      , United States
      , 12 years ago
    • Kristin Motyka
      , Michigan
      , United States
      , 12 years ago
    • Stunning display combined with Cleome in flower bed!

      Jan Corbin
      , Ohio
      , United States
      , 12 years ago
    • My Grandmother grew another variety in along with her prized roses and they were wonderfull. The Illustris' striking leaves bring back my childhood memories. I must disagree with the discription though, my plant has had some of the most striking contrasting yellow flower spikes I have ever seen, very pleasing to the eye right outside our ground level bay window in the bedroom.

      Paul Livers
      , Indiana
      , United States
      , 12 years ago
  • 4 Awards

    Award Year Award Plant Trial
    2006 Silver Medal University of Illinois-Champaign County Master Gardeners
    2006 Silver Medal University of Illinois-Champaign County Master Gardeners
    2006 Silver Medal University of Illinois-Champaign County Master Gardeners
    2006 Silver Medal University of Illinois-Champaign County Master Gardeners
Back to Top

Find plants you love and create idea boards for all your projects.

To create an idea board, sign in or create an account.