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Pest Information

Burgundy Stem Taro

Burgundy Stem Taro

  • Latin Name: Colocasia Esculenta
  • Common Name: Burgundy Stem Taro
  • Other Names: Elephant ear, black taro, angel wings, Texas wonder

Pest Details

Burgundy Stem Taro
Burgundy Stem Taro


Native to tropical Asia and the Pacific Islands, this plant is widely sold as an ornamental aquatic plant, and has escaped to become a noxious problem in drainage ditches and other waterways. It may be found throughout the warmer states of the U.S.


A perennial plant spreading by seeds or rhizomes, this Colocasia species requires constant immersion in water for their roots to survive. The huge leaves form a complete canopy over the water and may cover very large areas, inhibiting the flow of water where that is desired. All parts of the plant contain oxalic acid and are poisonous when ingested, causing severe pain in the mouth and lips if eaten.


Mature plants typically are 2 to 3 feet tall, but are capable of growing to 7 feet tall, with thick, fleshy stems arising from the base. Leaves are up to 2 feet long and are flat, wide, and arrowhead shaped.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Elimination of standing water will eventually kill this species of plant. Where this cannot be accomplished, such as in roadside drainage ditches, a broadleaf, systemic herbicide will be effective.

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