Elephant ears are actually a group of plants scientifically known as Alocasia, Colocasia, and Xanthosoma. They all have bold foliage and can add a tropical look to any garden. Most prefer full sun and well-drained soil, as well as plenty of water and fertilizer.
It's important to note that one type of elephant ear, commonly called wild taro and known scientifically as Colocasia esculenta, is invasive in Florida and should not be planted. And Xanthosoma sagittifolium is considered invasive or a problem species as well.
Gardeners should stick with Alocasia species. A popular cultivar is ‘Hilo Beauty’. No matter what cultivar you select, never plant elephant ears in or near a natural waterway; many spread rampantly and become a problem.
- Xanthosoma sagittifolium, Elephant Ear, Arrowleaf Elephant Ear -- UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas