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Xanthosoma ‘Lime Zinger’

Elephant ears, yellow taro, golden elephant ear

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassAlismatidaeAquatic and marshy plants
OrderAlismatalesHerbaceous flowering plants found in marshy habitats
FamilyAraceaeArum family, with plants whose flower is enclosed in a spathe
GenusXanthosomaFrom xantho, “yellow,” and soma, “body,” probably a reference to the spadix
Cultivar‘Lime Zinger’Leaves are chartreuse to lime green

About plant names...

This cultivated Xanthosoma is selected for its chartreuse leaves. Different sources list it as a cultivar of Xanthosoma mafaffa, Xanthosoma sagittifolium, or Xanthosoma aurea. I've also seen it called "Xanthosoma 'Key Lime Zinger.'" Whatever it is, and wherever it comes from, it is not found in the wild. The name "elephant's ear" isn't unique to this species, either. According to Bodhisagan's Plants and Rants, "Xanthosoma, along with Colocasia, Alocasia, and other genera with large leaves in the Arum (Araceae) family, are commonly called Elephant's Ear."

Identification: Plants are 2-4′ (60-121 cm) high. Leaves are large, yellow-green "elephant ears" which seem to fluoresce in cloudy weather. They are up to 2′ (60 cm) long and heart-shaped.

Online References:

Fine Gardening

Bodhisagan’s Plants and Rants, which is apparently a "division" of Steve's Plants and Rants

The Pacific Bulb Society

Master Gardener


Xanthosoma ‘Lime Zinger’ description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Xanthosoma ‘Lime (elephant ears, yellow taro, golden elephant ear)

9/7/2010 · Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, Mass­a­chu­setts

Range: Zones 9-11:

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