Lone Pine Nov 2016 Part 4
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Lone Pine Road Trip Nov 2016 Part 4
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Huntington Botanical Garden & LA County Arboretum
Los Angeles County Arboretum

Tropical species called "elephant ears" belong to the arum family (Araceae) and have large leaves resembling ears of an elephant. They include two southeast Asian genera (Colocasia and Alocasia), and the tropical American Xanthosoma. Some large-leaved anthuriums & caladiums are also called elephant ears. They sprout from large, subterranean corms related to taro (C. esculenta), source of the Polynesian dish "poi." The above image may be Xanthosoma.

Large-Leaved (Anthurium) At Huntington Botanical Garden

Anthurium cupalispathum, an aroid with "elephant-ear" leaves from Ecuador.

Elephant Ears (Colocasia gigantea)

The elephant ear with largest leaves is Colocasia gigantea. The leaf blade shape is more oval or heart-shaped. According to Wikipedia (and other references), the leaf stalks of C. gigantea have several unusual uses, including a sex toy from the Higo Province of Japan called Higo Zuiki! Even when dry, the porous stems become soft & smooth when soaked in water. Hopefully this Wikimedia image is identified correctly.

This large-leaved plant in my yard is actually giant bird of paradise (Strelitzia nicholai) and not a true elephant ear; however, it does have porous leaf stalks like elephant ears. It is native to eastern South Africa. Although it is related to the banana family (Musaceae), it actually belongs to its own family, the Strelitziaceae. It was included in the Musaceae in some older classifications.

Fall Colors In Grape Vines At Huntington Botanical Garden

Grape vine at Huntington Botanical Garden in November.