Instead of ornamental flowers or foliage, the Alocasia zebrina is mainly prized for its stems. Overcollection in the wild made the plant rare and costly after its introduction, but tissue culture has made it more widely available.
The Zebrina is an Alocasia: along with similar-looking Colocasias, the family is commonly known as an Elephant Ear. The plant features upright, arrowhead-shaped green with solid or reticulated leaves. Its standout feature is zebra-patterned striping along the thin stems. There are several other alocasias commonly grown as houseplants, including Alocasia Amazonica,
The plant is an evergreen member of the wide-ranging and diverse Alocasia genus. It originated in warm, humid Philippine rainforests, living at a high and well-drained elevation in bright shade as part of the forest undergrowth.
The Alocasia zebrina grows to about three feet high and wide. It can be considered rather fast-growing in the warm season, putting out leaves once every two weeks under ideal conditions. It sheds older leaves naturally and replaces them with new foliage.
The plant needs good light and a little extra watering attention but isn’t too hard to please. Its main vulnerability in containers is a rhizome root system that can easily rot in wet soil.