Friday, June 13, 2014

Alocasia macroorrhizos - Giant Elephant Ears

Alocasia macroorrhizos, (Upright Elephant Ears, Giant Taro, Wild Taro) is a stunning plant that can be found growing by roadsides and in jungles, more often next to jungle streams.  Its should be watered well especially in hot weather and as the plant grows larger. However, too much water will rot the tuber. To avoid this, well draining soil is imperative. 

When planted in the ground and fed regularly with organic fertilisers, it will easily grow up to ten feet high.  If grown in a container, it will not reach its full potential, unless the pot is very large. Over time, it will develop a tree-like stem. Offsets (plantlets) are produced from mature plants. These baby Alocasias can then be easily transplanted.

 
It can be planted in either sun or in shade. The plants here grow in full sun together with the Bougainvilleas.


A leaf bud unfurled over about three to four days from ... 

 
... the stalks of older leaves.
 
When the leaf first make its way out, it is held stiffly upwards, with prominent veining on the underside of the leaves. The large emerald green leaves are glossy and can measure up to three feet long.  


Over time, the leaves bend over.


On the underside of the large leaves, insects abound.
A pair of ladybugs huddled together for some coziness.


Close-ups of the playful pair.

I was curious about a whitish film until I saw this many legged arachnid and immediately identified as a tiny spider.



This is the elaborate web strung up by this little fella to trap unsuspecting and unfortunates critters.

 
Tiny larvae moving away from the nest to make it on their own.



The young spathe standing tall and erect in its sheath.




An autumnal-looking leaf is a sure sign that it had reached its golden years 


 
 
An elegant looking fly with a blue iridescent coat was deeply attracted to the golden colouring.



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