Hear, Hear…lend me an ear

We always look forward to elephant ear evaluation day at JLBG, which was recently completed.

Colocasia trials

Each year, Colocasia breeder, Dr. John Cho flies in from Hawaii to study and select from our field trials of his new hybrids. This year we were joined by Robert Bett, owner of the California-based plant marketing firm, PlantHaven, who handles the Royal Hawaiian elephant ear program. The JLBG trials consist of all named colocasia introductions growing alongside Dr. Cho’s new hybrids created the year prior.

Robert Bett (l), John Cho (r)

JLBG staff members, Jeremy Schmidt and Zac Hill spent most of the morning working with Robert and John on the time-consuming evaluation process.

Robert Bett (l), Zac Hil (c), John Cho (c), Jeremy Schmidt (r)

After lunch, Jim Putnam from Proven Winners, joined us to see which remaining plants struck his fancy for potential introduction into their branded program. As you can see, lots of amazing plants didn’t make the final cut, which is necessary, since we’ll need more room for the new selections.

John Cho, Robert Bett, Jim Putnam

Plants selected for introduction are then sent to a tissue culture lab to be produced for the next step, which is grower/retailer trials. If these are successful, and the plant can be multiplied well in the lab, the plants are scheduled for retail introduction.

Hopefully, by now, most folks are familiar with our 2020 top selection, Colocasia ‘Waikiki’, which hit the market this year. There are more really exciting new selections in the pipeline, but we can’t share photos of those quite yet…stay tuned.

Colocasia ‘Waikiki’

Another possibly new elephant ear

Here’s another new elephant ear we’re thinking about introducing, but we’d love to hear your thoughts.  Mature height is 3-4′ and it does spread among other plants. We are calling it Colocasia ‘Smiley Face’. This is an unidentified species, probably from North Vietnam, that has been hardy for us for over a decade.  Thoughts?

New Elephant Ear

Here’s a new image of Colocasia ‘Aloha’ growing in our garden.  This 2017 introduction from the breeding work of Dr. John Cho is truly amazing and so unique. This plant is 8 weeks in the ground from a 1 quart pot.

Are There Giants in Your Garden?

Colocasias are a genus that can bring a taste of the tropics to your backyard garden. Colocasia ‘Thailand Giant’ is a huge strain of the giant elephant ear that can reach 9′ tall in the wild, and certainly makes its presence known in the garden. Can you say WOW factor! Each glaucous grey-green leaf is up to 5′ long and 4′ wide. It also produces abundant 8″ flowers with white spathes from summer into fall. Learn how to grow elephant ears here.

So if you’re looking for a tropical escape and want to make a bold statement in your garden, or just want to impress your friends and neighbors, get your very own Giant today!

picture of Colocasia Thailand Giant in the garden

Colocasia Thailand Giant in the Garden

picture of Colocasia Thailand Giant flower

Flowers of Colocasia Thailand Giant

picture of Colocasia Thailand Giant in sales house

Colocasia Thailand Giant in the Sales House

Colocasia ‘White Lava’ – stunning accent in the garden

Colocasia esculenta White Lava leaf (2)Here’s a photo we just took in the garden of the amazing Colocasia ‘White Lava’.  We love this hybrid from the amazing breeding program of Hawaii’s John Cho.  Hardiness outdoors is Zone 7b south. Learn how to grow elephant ears here.

 

Gold-leaf Bletilla and Giant Elephant Ear – New for 2015 Preview

Bletilla striata Ogon (63824).cc

As we continue to preview a few of our new plants for 2015, here is a plant we’ve lusted after for years, and are finally able to share.  Bletilla striata ‘Ogon’ is a very rare, gold-leafed selection of the hardy orchid.  It’s hard to really capture the color well with my photographic skills, but it’s really an amazing plant.

Colocasia gigantea Laosy Giant with Alan Galloway2 (63848).cc

In the world of giant elephant ears, here’s one you don’t want to miss.  Colocasia gigantea ‘Laosy Giant’ is an Alan Galloway selection from where else, Laos.  In our trials, the leaves are about 1/3 larger than Colocasia ‘Thailand Giant’, although the overall clump size is nearly the same.  Thanks to Alan for both posing for this photo and for allowing us to introduce this new giant elephant ear.  Remember that the new plants will go up on the website in 2 days…the countdown begins! Learn how to grow elephant ears here.

Colocasia esculenta White Lava’

Colocasia esculenta White Lava leaf6

I just snapped this photo of the amazing Colocasia esculenta ‘White Lava‘ in the garden…quite a stunner once it fully colors.  It only grows to 3’ tall and clumps unlike its similar patterned parent, Colocasia ‘Nancy’s Revenge’. Learn how to grow elephant ears here.

The greenhouses are full of great plants!

Greenhouse 9 Cannas Bananas Greenhouse 11 agaves Greenhouse 13 colocasias

Many folks don’t realize that we grow our own plants here at Plant Delights.  This allows better control of availability, quality, and trueness to name.  Here are current photos of three of our stock houses where the plants are grown…one with cannas and gingers, another with agaves and yuccas, and one with elephant ears.  Your orders are pulled from stock in these greenhouses.  Whether you order on-line or are able to visit during our final upcoming Open Nursery and Garden weekend, we hope you’ll be very pleased with our plant quality.  Thank you for being a Plant Delights customer.

Remusatia vivipara elephant ear

Remusatia vivipara A1VT-031A leaf back2

Here’s our Vietnamese selection of the elephant ear cousin, Remusatia vivipara.  I found this form with dark black leaf back patterns while sliding down a moist hillside in North Vietnam during monsoon season.  Not only has it survived our very cold winters, but it looks really cool when planted where it can be backlit by the setting sun. Learn how to grow elephant ears here.