Alocasia Varieties – Elephant Ear Plant Types

Last Updated on February 20, 2022 by Grow with Bovees

Alocasia are tropical plants, and among the most beautiful houseplants around, popular with any plant lover.

Their incredible green foliage and striking visual appeal, make them great ornamental indoor houseplants, brightening up any room.

They are unfortunately not the easiest indoor plants to care for, but the efforts to keep them alive are worth it, never failing at giving your house an impressive tropical jungle feel.

There are almost 100 different varieties of alocasia plants, one being more beautiful than the other.

General Info & Basic Traits About Alocasia

The Alocasia plant originates from the subtropical regions of eastern Australia and Asia. It is an attractive perennial flowering plant with beautiful foliage, perfect for any plant lover.

Scientifically, Alocasia is known as Alocasia spp. — for example, Alocasia mycorrhiza. Other, more common names, include African mask plants or elephant ears.

Alocasia belongs to the Araceae family and is known for its magnificent foliage.

This plant needs high amounts of humidity, moist soil, some amounts of direct light or indirect light and the occasional fertilizer to thrive well as a houseplant part of an indoor garden.

Different Types of Alocasia Plants

As mentioned above, Alocasia can be found in many varieties. Due to their genetic connection, coming from the same alocasia genus of broad-leaved perennial flowering plants, they all have similar traits.

Each individual Alocasia species, however, has its own unique look, making them different with regard to leaf size and leaf shape, color, leaf texture and plant size.

Alocasia Longiloba

Type of Alocasia is popular for its slender and large leaves. This amazing-looking plant has bluish-green leaves that resemble the shape of an arrow.

You’ll find that the primary leaf veins, the blade margins and the midrib are quite prominent, showing off a striking silver gray color.

Having a closer look at the undersides of the Alocasia longiloba leaves, you will find a deep purple, eggplant colored hue. This is what makes this species so different from other Alocasia types.

From time to time, you will find flowers erupting from this plant, with a light green spathe and orange fruits.

These plants’ long and narrow leaves can reach a size of 2 to 3 feet long and gain a width of about 12 to 15 inches wide. The plant as a whole, is able to reach a height of 1 to 3 feet tall, making it one of the smaller varieties.

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Alocasia Silver Dragon

The Alocasia baginda silver dragon is another popular Alocasia variety. It’s mostly sought after due to its unique color, which resembles that of dragon scales.

The leaves are generally lighter, presenting a lovely silvery-bluish shade as its primary color, and showing off darker colored primary and secondary veins, as well as margins which are dark green to almost sage-blue.

The leaves are oval-shaped and highly textured.

The silver dragon is one of the more compact Alocasia varieties. Its height and width rarely go beyond 3-feet tall when matured. Even matured leaves will remain small, reaching a length of about 6 inches, which is about the size of your hand.

Alocasia Black Velvet

The black velvet alocasia — aka little queen — is quite mysterious and dark in nature, carrying dramatic foliage which is rich and dark, displaying a deep shade of almost black color.

The deep green leaves have prominent veins. These silvery white veins are embedded in lovely velvety textured leaves.

Black velvet alocasia carries heart shaped leaves, and you’ll find that they are thicker than other alocasia leaves, resembling succulent leaves with a velvety texture.

The alocasia reginula black velvet, due to its size, has a bushier appearance than other varieties. It grows to a length of about 12 inches tall and reaches a circumference of roughly 18 inches wide.

Alocasia Black Magic

Staying on the topic of the dark and mysterious natured alocasia varieties, there is the Alocasia black magic, which is even darker than the Alocasia black velvet. This alocasia variety is quite a glamorous looking plant, creating a moody atmosphere when displayed in a room.

The Black magic — aka Alocasia infernalis — displays foliage of metallic purplish-black leaves which turn deeper as the plant matures. If this plant is placed in the right light, you will notice that the leaves have a lovely almost red shimmer to it. This metallic sheen sets the perfect mysterious mood.

The leaves of black magic can reach a size of about 6 inches long. The entire plant will grow to be roughly 15 inches tall and 6 inches wide.

Alocasia Giant Taro

This Alocasia is an amazing plant also known as Alocasia macrorrhiza, and it is one of the largest varieties of alocasia plants. Another name given to this rhizomatous plant is upright elephant ear, which came about due to its gigantic ribbed leaves and huge stature.

Their beautiful leaves can reach a length of a whopping 3 feet, growing erect rather than drooping.

The leaves of the giant taro resemble an arrow shape, are bright green in color and glossy with ruffled edges.

These arrow-shaped leaves develop a lovely lime green color as the plant grows and, in this case, the primary veins are less prominent as they do not carry the white color that other alocasia leaf veins do.

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Depending on the space in which you grow your Alocasia macrorrhiza, it can reach a maximum height of 4-5 feet tall and a leaf span of about 3-5 feet wide when grown indoors.

This beautiful plant is quite a fast-growing plant and makes a striking indoor plant if you have the space for it. Growing it outdoors can be quite tricky as it becomes very invasive, taking over every space it can find.

Alocasia Pink Dragon

Another unique alocasia variety is the Alocasia pink dragon — scientific name, Alocasia morocco. What makes this plant stand out from other alocasia varieties is its amazing light pink stem which grows upright and carries beautiful shiny dark green leaves, with slender tips, which are decorated by beautiful bold white veins.

Alocasia morocco is an ornamental plant which grows in a compact nature, reaching a length of only 18 inches tall.

Alocasia Melo

Looking at the leaves of the Alocasia rugosa, you might mistake it for an artificial plant. They have extremely thick leaves displaying very deep leaf ridges. The foliage is so roughly textured that it has an almost cardboard-like look and feel to them.

The plant carries jade green to blue-green colored leaves and the leaf veins are intricate and prominent.

The Alocasia melo can have an amazing leaf span of roughly 10 inches wide and 20 inches long and the general height of the entire plant is about 1 foot to 2 feet tall.

Alocasia Red Secret

The Alocasia cuprea red secret is another plant that is quite unique and sets itself apart from other alocasia varieties.

Also known as Alocasia cuprea, the Red Secret is known for its signature light shades of red and pink colors displayed on its leaves, creating a very tropical and almost passionate mood when displayed in a room.

Their shimmering ovate leaves display an overwhelmingly beautiful coppery green and pink sheen, our Alocasia Cuprea care guide can be seen here. As the Alocasia cuprea become mature plants, the copper green tones turn into a more saturated dark green color while the pink continues to keep its magnificent shimmering.

The leaves display almost black, deeply set leaf veins.

This eye-catching beauty can reach a height and width of about 3 feet when matured, whereas its incredibly bold leaves — when fully grown — have a size range of 12 to 18 inches long.

Alocasia Gray Dragon

Also known as Alocasia maharani, the gray dragon alocasia is among one of the rare alocasia varieties. You might find that the Alocasia gray dragon has some similarities to Alocasia melo. This is because it is, in fact, a hybrid of Alocasia reginula and Alocasia rugosa melo.

The foliage of the Alocasia maharani has a color pattern of a soft silver green color, and it is, as a matter of fact, considered to be a dwarf plant. Reaching a maximum size of 14 inches tall and the leaves becoming about 6 inches long, making it the perfect plant for desk tops, for example.

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Alocasia Hooded Dwarf

The Alocasia hooded dwarf is another smaller type of Alocasia. It is also known as Alocasia cucullata hooded dwarf or as Buddha’s hand and is often found in Buddhist temples across Laos and Thailand, as it is believed that it brings good fortune.

This dwarf variety carries shiny green leaves with wavy edges, beautifully decorated by thick white veins seen on the undersides of the leaves, as well as, showing off lovely wavy, upturned leaf margins on the upper side of the leaves.

These amazing glossy leaves have a completely different leaf shape — heart-shapes — and grow upright from thick, husky petioles, making them a decorative plant.

Size wise, the Alocasia cucullata only reaches a height of roughly 3 feet in height and a width of about 3 feet wide, making it a compact plant. The leaves can grow up to a length of 12 inches and a width of 7 inches wide.

Other Varieties

  • Alocasia zebrina — which is known for its zebra print.
  • Alocasia bambino — which is known for its arrowhead leaves and green veins.
  • Alocasia amazonica polly
  • Alocasia wentii — whose leaves carry a jeweled deep green shade.
  • Alocasia portei
  • Alocasia sanderiana — aka Kris plant
  • Alocasia Micholitziana ‘Frydek’— which has light green leaves and creamy white veins.
  • Jewel alocasia
  • Alocasia reversa
  • Alocasia brancifolia
  • Alocasia heterophylla
  • Alocasia plumbea
  • Alocasia reginae
  • Alocasia sarawakensis
  • Alocasia scalprum
  • Alocasia odora
  • Alocasia dragon scale (dragon scale alocasia) — which has distinct silvery green leaves with dark green primary veins and is one of the most stunning jewel alocasia varieties.
  • Green velvet alocasia
  • Alocasia lauterbachiana ‘Purple Sword’
  • Alocasia Ivory Coast
  • Alocasia azlanii
  • Alocasia Macrorrhiza ‘Stingray
  • Alocasia odora variegata
  • Alocasia brisbanensis

Conclusion

This brings me to the end of this piece about these ornamental plants. As mentioned above, there are many different types of alocasia with different interesting features, and attractive foliage.

All make for decorative houseplants. The ones mentioned above are just a few of my favorite ones.

Remember, because these plants originate from tropical and subtropical Asia and eastern Australia, they like plenty of humidity, so be sure to keep indoor humidity levels high, keep the potting soil moist — wet soil may cause root rot — and avoid direct sunlight and cold drafts.

Head down to your local nursery or garden center and check out their alocasia varieties, and pick one or two that appeals most to you, and I am sure they will make a stunning eye-catching display and a great addition to your houseplant collection.

References;

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/FP033

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2468265920300342