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Useful Tropical Plants

Amorphophallus variabilis

Blume

Araceae

+ Synonyms

Amorphophallus zeylanicus Engl.

Arum caeruleopunctatum Zipp. ex Kunth

Arum stercorarium Zipp. ex Kunth

Brachyspatha variabilis (Blume) Schott

Common Name:

Amorphophallus variabilis
Plant and flowering spathe. This is a rare situation when the inflorescence occurs simultaneously with the leaves.
Photograph by: Wie146
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0
Amorphophallus variabilis Amorphophallus variabilis

General Information

Amorphophallus variabilis is a herbaceous, perennial plant producing 1 - 2 leaves from a tuberous rootstock that can be 15cm in diameter. The leaves are up to 125cm long on a stalk up to 120cm long. A flowering stem 15 - 80cm tall is produced annually[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The plant is sometimes gathered from the wild for its edible tuber and young shoots, which are eaten locally.

Known Hazards

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a family where most of the members 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[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

Botanical References


Range

Southeast Asia - Indonesia, Philippines.

Habitat

Not known

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *
HabitPerennial
Height2.00 m
PollinatorsBeetles
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Members of this genus generally require a moist but well-drained, humus-rich, fertile soil and a position in dappled shade[
472
Title
Aroids: Plants of the Arum Family.
Publication
 
Author
Bown D.
Publisher
Timber Press; Portland, Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-485-7
Description
An excellent treatment of the family Araceae, giving lots of information about the plants, how to grow them, their uses etc. I found it a bit disordered - if you want all the information on a specific species you have to trawl through the whole book.
].
The flowers are pollinated by beetles, which are attracted to the sickly-sweet, durian-like smell the flowers produce[
472
Title
Aroids: Plants of the Arum Family.
Publication
 
Author
Bown D.
Publisher
Timber Press; Portland, Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-485-7
Description
An excellent treatment of the family Araceae, giving lots of information about the plants, how to grow them, their uses etc. I found it a bit disordered - if you want all the information on a specific species you have to trawl through the whole book.
].

Edible Uses

Tubers - cooked[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The tuber must be thoroughly boiled or baked to destroy an acrimonious principle (See notes on 'Known Hazards' above[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
])[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The tubers can be peeled, cooked and then pounded to extract their starch, which is solidified with dissolved limestone into an edible gel called 'Konnyaku'[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. Konnyaku is a type of flour valued for its use in many dietary products[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. The flour is valued for its ability to clean the digestive tract without being a laxative[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].
The white tuber can up to 15cm in diameter and 8cm long, weighing up to 1.5 kg[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Each year it produces rhizomatous, spindle-shaped offsets 10 - 15mm long[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Young shoots - cooked[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The shoots must be thoroughly boiled or baked to destroy an acrimonious principle (See notes on 'Known Hazards' above[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
])[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Medicinal

The leaves are smoked as a narcotic substitute for tobacco[
472
Title
Aroids: Plants of the Arum Family.
Publication
 
Author
Bown D.
Publisher
Timber Press; Portland, Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-485-7
Description
An excellent treatment of the family Araceae, giving lots of information about the plants, how to grow them, their uses etc. I found it a bit disordered - if you want all the information on a specific species you have to trawl through the whole book.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - usually germinates easily and well[
472
Title
Aroids: Plants of the Arum Family.
Publication
 
Author
Bown D.
Publisher
Timber Press; Portland, Oregon.
Year
2000
ISBN
0-88192-485-7
Description
An excellent treatment of the family Araceae, giving lots of information about the plants, how to grow them, their uses etc. I found it a bit disordered - if you want all the information on a specific species you have to trawl through the whole book.
].
Division of offsets.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-08-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Amorphophallus+variabilis>

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