Friday, March 25, 2011

If you need ears...

"If you need ears go and borrow them from the elephant."African proverb

"Maganda din pala syang pang-landscape" (It's also good for landscaping).

That was what my mother commented when she saw the Giant Upright Elephant Ears (Alocasia macrorrhiza) gallantly growing as accent plants in one corner of the Sky Garden (SM Mall - North EDSA) sometime last year. After shopping for some necessities, Mom and Dad visited the open garden just to get some landscaping ideas. Dad said he knows where to get some.

Cool! So that's how this plant got introduced in the garden. There are other clumps of this Giant Upright Elephant Ear somewhere else, which somehow I failed to notice during my last visit despite their evident size. I'll just rely on my mother's assurance that there are indeed others elsewhere.

Although in fact a common plant, it's not a practical choice for those who have gardens that are space constrained. After all it's not called "giant" for no reason.

For size comparison: a Blood Banana on the left and a Giant Upright Elephant Ear on the right.

There are also other plants called "Elephant Ears" in the genera Caladium, Colocasia and Xanthosoma. Along with Alocasia they all belong to the family Araceae. All these other so-called Elephant Ears, whether giant or not, have leaves pointing downward, this one stands out because theirs point up.

Another so-called Elephant Ear, the Giant Taro, locally known as "Biga" ("Bira" in the north), is both an ornamental and an edible plant. But in our corner of the country, i.e. the rural area, it is valued more for its edible parts than for its aesthetic purposes. Maybe that's the reason why although we have plenty of "Biga" which we could incorporate into the garden they were still left out. I have no idea where to classify this Giant Taro though. Is it Colocasia or Xanthosoma?

A giant "Biga" growing somewhere in the currently unused and weedy side of the farm pretty much untended and ignored.

I'm glad that we have the Upright Giant Elephant Ear in the farm/garden. I've been wanting to get one since I first saw it in some garden photos. And I didn't even have to bother my parents to look for it. They too found it interesting after seeing its aesthetic beauty in a tropical garden setting. Best of all we got it for free.
tropical garden Tropical Garden tropical garden