Compost Blog

Dancing Elephants

FOUND IN: Garden Design on October 27, 2012

                    Colocasia 'Noble Gigante' and Coleus 'Silk Stockings' make for a dramatic match-up.


There were countless elephants standing around, all waiting to be discovered. Most didn't think about dancing. On a coffee table she leapt, twirling as though weightless. "Look at me", she screamed, pandering to the audience below.


They came wrapped in newsprint, sealed in tiny plastic bags. The root balls looked like they might fit in a bubbles bottle opening. Quickly they were assimilated into open ground. It didn't take long for two to rise up above the rest.


The leaf moves like a canvas sail in a light wind.  Water beading on the foliage slides downward as if tiny marbles succumbing to gravity. The ebony foliage of Colocasia 'Noble Gigante' is a dancing pachyderm.  Mine, now reaching 4' has mastered the summer, growing happily tucked irreverently between coleus and a seedling basil. The leaves, rising above have claimed their space, adding solid color to its fine textured trio.


Several horticultural friends, hovering over the plant recently,  marveled at the deep black color and asked what it was.  "It is the blackest I have ever seen", they exclaimed. This is a sure sign something is remarkably right about this selection.  Unfortunately they had to ask me what the name was more than once, a sure sign it should have been named something than what it was. 'Ebony Wonder', 'Tar Baby', 'Back Silk", anything other than what it was called. But I digress. It is a rising star. Hope it gets a new name soon.




To call it a shade of green diminishes the impact it can have in the heated environment we call home. Chartreuse is one of those colors that lights up the landscape. Finding one that can stand up to the summer heat and thrive is difficult at best.  Colocasia 'Red Eyed Gecko' is a floral creature waiting to be discovered.. The violet eye is echoed in the stem. In my garden, the summer afternoon sun had no effect on the successful performance of this newly offered elephant ear.  There was no visible signs of burn around the edges. And while it did not dry out severely throughout the summer months, it certainly did not get catered to at any point after planting. I am looking forward to seeing it in a massed situation to truly get the full effect of this colorful introduction.


These elephants deserve a round of applause! (clapping feverishly......) An arms distance from the table she is dancing on, please..............


(Many thanks to Belinda and Mike Rink with AgriStarts 3 for sending me the plugs. You know I love evaluating new plants!!!)