Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Ruffles’
Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott is the correct and accepted scientific name of this species of Colocasia. It was named and described as such by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott in Meletemata Botanica in 1832. It was first described as Arum esculentum L. by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.
I bought my Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Ruffles’ from Wellspring Gardens as a starter plant in the spring of 2012. It was one of the best performers of the Colocasia I ordered that year. The leaves are similar to ‘Black Magic’ with ruffled leaves.
This cultivar was discovered by a member of the Southeast Palm Society in her garden in Anniston, Alabama.
It grows 3′ long ruffled leaves that are dark purple to black depending on the light. This one is a clumper, unlike many Colocasia esculenta which are more stoloniferous.
It is said they also multiply at a much faster rate, as much as 100 divisions in 12-24 months… The bulbs are cold hardy in UDSA zones 7a-10b. In cooler zones, the bulbs must be dug AFTER a frost and stored in a cool dark place for the winter.
I didn’t bring this plant with me when I moved back to mid-Missouri in February 2013. They are on my wish list.
I am no aroid expert and I only grew this plant as a companion in 2009 and 2012. As with many Colocasia you buy as small plants, it can take some time for them to reach a dramatic size. So, if you buy smaller plants and they don’t get 6-8’ tall by the end of the summer, just be patient. They now have rhizomes that you can store for the winter and they will make larger plants the next season. Unless you live in a zone they can stay out all winter… Just make sure the rhizomes don’t remain too wet over a cool winter outdoors.
You also need to make sure you have your Colocasia growing in an area they like and will do well. Otherwise, your plants will not grow well and attain any size. When I lived in Mississippi, the Colocasia esculenta grew HUGE. Now, in mid-Missouri, I only have room for two that can grow HUGE and the rest remain small because of where I have to grow them.
Keep in mind Colocasia grow new rhizomes each season on top of the old one. If they aren’t growing where they will thrive, their rhizomes will actually get smaller.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know.
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