Closely related to Alocasia macrorrhizos, and often confused with it[
]. This species differs in having shorter, peltate leaves whilst Alocasia macrorrhizos has cordate leaves[
Alocasia commutata Schott
Alocasia tonkinensis Engl.
Arum odoratum Heynh.
Arum odorum (Lindl.) Roxb.
Caladium odoratissimum K.Koch
Caladium odorum Lindl.
Colocasia odora (Lindl.) Brongn.
Common Name: Night Scented Lily
Photograph by: ?64
Night scented lily is an evergreen perennial herb growing up to 60cm tall.
The plant is used locally as a food, being gathered from the wild. It is also sometimes grown as an ornamental.
All parts of the plant contain calcium oxalate crystals. This substance is toxic fresh and, if eaten, makes the mouth, tongue and throat feel as if hundreds of small needles are digging in to them. However, calcium oxalate is easily broken down either by thoroughly cooking the plant or by fully drying it and, in either of these states, it is safe to eat the plant. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet[
E. Asia - southern China, India, through Malaysia to Indo-China, Indonesia, the Philippines.
Primary and secondary tropical rain forests, bamboo-thickets, riverbanks, swamps, also on limestone at elevations below 1,700 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a well-drained, humus-rich soil and a position in semi-shade.
Like many species in the family Araceae, this plant has the ability to heat the flowering spadix as the pollen becomes ready for fertilization. This heat greatly increases the strength of the aroma released by the plant, thus attracting more pollinating insects. It can also have the effect of making the insects more active, thus increasing the level of fertilization[
The corms are eaten in parts of India[
]. The corm must be well cooked in order to destroy calcium oxalate - see notes above on toxicity[
The rhizomes are used for the treatment of stomach ache, abdominal pain, cholera and hernia; externally to treat abscesses, snake or insect bites[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe. Germinates best at 24c.
Division of the rootstock as the plant is coming into growth.
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.