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Elephant ears

This weed reproduces by seed which is often dispersed by fruit eating birds and floods.

Elephant ears

Article by Gordon Agnew, waterways technical officer, Sunshine Coast Council

Barung Landcare and Skilling Queensland recently removed Colocasia esculenta from Obi Obi Creek. This unwanted guest is regarded as an environmental weed and displaces native vegetation. Removal in the drier months will give the site time to stabilise before the onset of the wet season.

Calocasia is commonly referred to as elephant ear, cocoyam or taro. This weed is native to tropical eastern Asia and grows approximately 1 metre high.  It tolerates a wide range of wet and dry sites and can easily invade wetlands, pond edges and the banks of slow flowing creeks.

This weed reproduces by seed which is often dispersed by fruit eating birds and floods. It also reproduces by underground rhizomes or corms. After the initial hand removal, follow-up removal is often required to remove any new rhizome growth.

If you would like advice on the management of waterway weeds, please contact council’s waterways and catchment management team.