Mar. 12, 2020

arrowleaf elephear, Xanthosoma sagittifolium

Elephant's ear is said to be a rare escape from cultivation in Florida and Texas. It also rarely produces flowers. Yet I have seen it several times, always with flowers. Rare luck? Probably not. For one thing, it is easy to spot. The leaves get up to four feet long, and these flowers almost a foot. For another, it may be under represented in herbaria collections because of its sheer size. How do you get a four foot leaf into a plant press, then onto a 11 x 16 herbarium sheet? It appears that collectors, particularly inexperienced ones, avoid the complications of really big plants. Polk Co FL, 3/17/16. Arum family, Araceae.