Wild Florida Photo - Colocasia esculenta

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Colocasia esculenta




Not native to Florida

Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council:  Category I designation
This plant is an invasive exotic that is altering native plant communities by displacing native species, changing community structures or ecological functions, or hybridizing with natives.
This species should never be planted (many with this designation are prohibited by law), and generally should be removed whenever possible.


This invasive species has become a problem plant in Florida - especially in the wetland areas. It is currently found throughout much of the peninsula, except for the Lake Wales Ridge. Also in the western panhandle plus several counties in the Apalachicola and Ochlockonee Rivers area.
Wild taro can be recognized by the large arrow-shaped leaves on thick green stalks. The leaves have a deep notch (sinus) that does not reach the juncture between the leaf and the stem. This is one of many plants frequently referred to as elephant ear.
Preferred native landscaping alternatives to wild taro include Canna flaccida - southern marsh canna, Sagittaria latifolia - broadleaf arrowhead, and Hibiscus coccineus - scarlet hibiscus.

Colocasia esculenta is a member of the Araceae - Arum family.