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I Have Read About Elephant Ears And Have Heard All…

Catherine Asked

I have read about elephant ears and have heard all kinds of information on them but never about their blooms. Mine bloom in late fall about the first frost and they look like calla lillies. Why is it there is never anything about their blooming cycle?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Catherine in Kentucky: Elephant ears are grown for their large foliage but, in fact, they will bloom, as you can attest to. Although elephant ears do not belong to the same family as calla lilies, they do belong to the same family as peace lilies, which would explain the resemblance of the blooms. The tiny flowers are found on the inner spike-like structure known as the spadix, which is surrounded by a modified leaf known technically as a bract. The blooms, also known as spaths, are a creamy white color. Older plants are more likely to flower than younger plants and here in Kentucky, unless you are gardening in a micro climate, we have to dig up our bulbs to protect them from the winter weather. So, to have an older bulb means it has been well cared for. Sometimes stressed plants produce flowers as a way to reproduce and if the flowers are pollinated they will produce red berries that can be planted. Elephant ears are typically sporadic and unreliable bloomers, which is why we do not hear or read about them very often. They are mainly grown for the tropical feel they provide us.

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