Colocasia 'Black Magic'


I tend to agree with all those that seem to think that this plant is a sport
of Colocasi esculenta.  I obtained my original plant 5 or 6 years ago as
C. 'Jet Black Wonder' and it has done superbly out in the garden ever since.

A couple of years ago I saw a picture of this plant in a book and it was
mislabeled as well, but it also listed the person's name that brought it in
to this country.  With a little detective work I tracked down this person
and he gave me the low-down on how it came into existence.

Since I haven't obtained permission from said person, I don't think it
would be courteous for me to publish his name in this forum, but here's
what he said:

 An aquatic plant collector of an Australian Botanical Garden ( probably the
same one that Eric visited) was on a collecting trip in the swamps of
the Phillipines and discovered this dark-leafed sport amongst a patch
of C. esculenta.  Anyway, the Australian collector shared some of this plant
with a fellow aquatic plant collector in this country and that person
further distributed it to collectors in FL and CA.  Somehow, the names,
'Jet Black Wonder' and 'Black Magic' seem to arise about the same time,
although 'Black Magic' seems to be the more prominantly used name.

..you know, this would make a great bedtime fable on how the sharing of
    plant material benefits us all......  :)

Per Steve's inquiry about the flower, yes it does resemble that of C.
esculenta, but in my own opinion, who cares about the flower when you have
3 ft.by 2 ft black leaves hanging from 7 ft. petioles.  OK, you taxonimists
can go ahead and bring out the big can of whoop-ass.

Another unique feature of this plant is to watch how rain drops dance on the
leaves.

>From the interest that people have shown upon seeing this plant in my garden
and its increasing availablity, I expect this plant to get nominated for
plant of the year very soon.

For a real show stopper, plant C. 'Black Magic' next to the chartreuse-leafed
Xanthosoma.

Alan

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Alan Galloway                                 alan_galloway@ncsu.edu
Computing Services, Information Technology
Campus Box 7109 
North Carolina State University                 (phone) 919-515-5483
Raleigh, NC  27695-7109                         (fax)   919-515-3787


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