alocasia cucullata

Alocasia cucullata

Spear Queen

alocasia cucullata

Alocasia Cucullata is a spectacular evergreen foliage plant belonging to the Elephant’s Ear family. Upright, fleshy, rhizomatous stems bear stout, cylindrical leaf stalks topped with lush, green, heart-shaped leaves with prominent veins.

The plants develop into multi stemmed clumps about 1,2 m tall and often equally as wide. They produce small, somewhat insignificant green flowers sporadically through the year. Being members of the Aroid family (Arum Lily) the flowers comprise of a spadix surrounded by a green spathe.

These are held close to the stem, amongst the foliage and often never noticed at all. It is true to say that Alocasia Cucullata, or ‘Spear Queen’, is an outstanding foliage plant that lends a tropical feel to frost free gardens. Alocasia Cucullata grows relatively quickly to a mature size, preferring shade, plenty of water, rich soils and, from August to April, regular fertilising with a plant food high in nitrogen.

Plants exposed to sunlight will have paler foliage with a yellowish tinge or bleached look about the leaves. Older leaves die off as new ones emerge and should be removed as soon as they become tatty and unsightly. Long, lanky stems can be cut back to almost ground level to induce new, compact growth.

Use this Alocasia Cucullata en masse in sub-tropical gardens to lend bold foliage to rich, green backdrops, to fill in space under large tree canopies and alongside ponds and garden streams. It is ideal for shaded patio gardens, either in pots or planted directly in the ground and it also makes an effective container plant for verandas and well-lit rooms inside the home.

Undemanding and easy to grow, this small-leaved Elephant’s Ear is certain to be an integral part of many gardens in the years to come as more and more gardeners realise the importance of lush green foliage in creating a feeling of peace and tranquility. The shiny leaves and statuesque growth habit make this a first class garden plant that does not tend to take over the entire garden as many of its relatives do.

The Gardener