The elephant ear plant is a tropical perennial and is related to 1800 species in the family Araceae. Their distinguishing feature is large, heart-shaped leaves that are larger than the size of the flowers.
The attraction is not in the flowers but the long, broad, and green foliage. The leaves of the elephant ear tree can be up to 3 feet long and 2 feet wide in favorable climates. In colder climates, they will be smaller in size but still attracted by their large, strong leaves.
If you love the beauty of plants with large and hardy leaves like the elephant ear tree, you can refer to some plants in their family. Here are the top 5 plants that look like elephant ears.
Top 5 Plants That Look Like Elephant Ears
There are many species of large-leaved plants in the family with the elephant ear tree. However, some plants that are so similar to elephant ears that many people often confuse them are Colocasia, Alocasia, Xanthosoma, Diamond Head, and Pink Symphony. Learn about elephant ear cultivars to distinguish or substitute in your garden.
Colocasia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae along with elephant ear plants. It is native to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Some species are widely and naturally grown in other tropical and subtropical regions in humid environments.
The plant species that are considered to be the most similar to the elephant ear tree are the most difficult for many people to distinguish. They are commonly found in muddy areas of Asia. This plant is quite famous in Asia and plays an important role in the decoration of the garden.
Colocasia prefers moist environments, averaging 3 to 8 feet tall. The beauty of this plant is also the leaves. The leaves of Colocasia are heart-shaped with a fresh green color. The beauty of lushness and vitality is what you can feel when looking at this plant.
Colocasia is native to Asian swamps, so to grow them you need a humid environment, the right temperature, and light every day.
Alocasia is a genus of plants in the family of Araceae. It has flowers, rhizomes or tubers, broad leaves, and perennials. Currently, Alocasia has about 90 species native to tropical and subtropical Asia as well as eastern Australia. This plant is also grown around the world as a garden decoration.
One of the distinguishing features of this plant is the length of its leaves from 12 to 15 feet. The width of a leaf is also Alocasia’s attraction as it can be 2 to 5 feet wide. Alocasia is a plant suitable for growing in tropical areas with warm environments.
Another common species of the genus Alocasia is Alocasia Plumber or otherwise known as metal taro. It is not as large as other species but the color and size of the leaves are very similar to that of the elephant ear tree. Therefore, many people find it difficult to distinguish between leaves and flowers.
Xanthosoma is a genus of flowering plants in the family of Arum. This plant is native to tropical America but is widely and naturally grown in other tropical regions. They have a very similar appearance to the elephant ear tree such as broad, large, and heart-shaped leaves.
The leaves of Xanthosoma average 40–200 cm (16–79 in) long, arrow-shaped, or subdivided into up to 18 segments. Unlike the leaves of Colocasia, the leaves of Xanthosoma usually do not have the V-knot.
The distinguishing feature between Xanthosoma and elephant ear plants is the “arrowheads” on the leaves. The tip of the leaf is pointed like an arrow so you can easily observe and distinguish it. This feature is the most distinctive feature of Xanthosoma in the Americas compared to elephant ears in Asia.
Its average height is 2 to 5 feet but it can also grow up to 9 feet tall. The attractive feature of this plant is also its pointed, arrow-shaped leaves, which are green and lush.
4. Diamond Head
Diamond Head is a species of plant in the genus Colocasia. This is the most popular species of elephant ear tree. The reason is that their leaves have a distinctive color. They often have a deep purple or purple sheen that sets them apart from the usual green leaf color of other varieties.
Diamond Head can average 3 to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide at maturity. Their large leaf shape makes them very similar to elephant ears, but their highlight is the gloss on the leaves.
The purple or black leaves are covered with a beautiful glossy sheen. When the sun shines on these leaves, they will reflect the sun and bring a very eye-catching space to your garden.
To grow this plant, light is one of the important factors for its growth and development. In addition, they also need a large amount of water to maintain humidity and a humid environment. Make sure to provide enough light and water to help Diamond Head get the best leaves.
5. Pink Symphony
Pink Symphony is a plant that resembles an elephant’s ear tree. However, the leaf size is smaller and their leaves are pink instead of green or purple like other varieties.
If you want to accent your garden with green color, then Pink Symphony will be an ideal choice. Anyone will have to admire and carefully observe the pink leaves and many textures on them.
In addition, the plants are not too large and take up a lot of space, so you can grow them in pots in your home or office. Their length is about 14 inches and the leaves are not too large, so they can make houseplants.
Moreover, Pink Symphony does not need sunlight to grow and develop. They prefer shade with cool temperatures to grow. This plant also doesn’t like wet environments, so well-draining soil and pots with vent holes are things to keep in mind.
The elephant ear plant is a plant that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and does not take much time to mature. Therefore, many people choose this plant to decorate their garden with the attraction of large leaves instead of flowers.
If you love plants like the elephant ear plant, you can check out some such as Colocasia, Alocasia, Xanthosoma, Diamond Head, and Pink Symphony. Most of them have a similar appearance to the elephant ear tree with large, heart-shaped leaves.
However, Diamond Head and Pink Symphony differ from elephant ear plants in the color of their leaves. The leaves of Diamond Head are usually green, black, and covered with a glossy sheen. Meanwhile, Pink Symphony has extremely beautiful pink leaves.