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ALOCASIA 'Black Velvet'

Image of Alocasia 'Black Velvet'

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Araceae

Botanical Name

ALOCASIA 'Black Velvet'

Plant Common Name

Alocasia, Elephant Ear

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Beautiful dark leaves are the shining glory of Alocasia ‘Black Velvet.’ This smaller tropical elephant ear is adapted to the warm, moist areas of southern Asia. Some list this selection as a cultivar of Alocasia reginula but the parentage of this Borneo discovery is still unclear.

Evergreen in the tropics, 'Black Velvet' is a dwarf Alocasia, which grows via rhizomes (underground lateral stems) that branch to form large clumps. The leaves are roundly heart-shaped, dark greenish black on the top with silver veins and purple underneath. Anthurium-like flowers are produced throughout the year when growing conditions are favorable. These consist of a sterile, finger-like floral column (spadix) surrounded by a pale green petal-like leaf (spathe).

This little beauty requires high humidity for good growth. Choose a location with partial to full shade and organic-rich, well-drained soil. It will tolerate moist soil conditions and should be planted in a protected spot as it is wind sensitive. Like all tropical Alocasia, it's cold sensitive. Where not hardy, ‘Black Velvet’ is ideal for containers for humid, shaded conservatories or patios. The plants spread to form dense clumps that should be thinned regularly. Outdoors, it makes a beautiful groundcover for tropical areas.

There are potential health concerns regarding this plant. To learn more go to http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/Alocasp.htm

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green, Silver, Black

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Purple, Dark Green, Silver, Black

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Purple, Dark Green, Silver, Black

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Purple, Dark Green, Silver, Black

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes