Maranta indica Tussac
Maranta ramosissima Wall.
Maranta sylvatica Roscoe ex Sm.
Maranta tessellata kegeljanii E.Morren
Phrynium variegatum N.E.Br.
Common Name: Arrowroot
Maranta arundinacea is an erect, perennial plant growing about 1.2 metres tall. It has a shallow root system, with rhizomes that penetrate more deeply into the soil[
The plant produces a starch-rich root that is the main source of arrowroot and also has various medicinal applications. Often harvested from the wild, it is also widely cultivated in tropical regions for its root[
], and is often grown as a ground cover and ornamental in tropical gardens and as a pot plant in cooler climates[
Northern and western S. America.
Moist floors of evergreen or deciduous forests, often in clearings where light levels are relatively high[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the moist to wet, lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 23 - 29°c, but can tolerate 17 - 34°c[
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about 5°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 700 - 4,000mm[
Prefers a fertile, moist soil in a sunny or partially shaded position[
]. Succeeds in most fertile, well-drained soils[
]. Friable soils are preferred for better tuber development and easy harvesting[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 5 - 8[
The rhizomes mature about 300 - 365 days after planting[
Successive crops are usually grown on the same land for 5 - 6 years[
Yields may within 5 - 6 years be between 10 - 35 tonnes per hectare of rhizomes, from which 2.5 - 7.5 tonnes of starch can be obtained[
Root - raw or cooked. The source of a high quality edible starch, obtained by grinding the root into a fine powder. This highly digestible starch is used in pastries, biscuits etc, and is preferred to flour for thickening soups, sauces and gravies[
]. Unlike flour, it does not add a mealy taste[
Arrowroot is a soothing demulcent and nutritive food that has traditionally been used in much the same ways as slippery elm (Ulmus rubra)[
]. Easily digested, it is of benefit to convalescents and those with weak digestions, helping to relieve acidity, indigestion and colic[
]. It is mildly laxative[
An infusion of the root has traditionally been used to treat urinary infections[
]. The root also been used as an antidote for poison[
The powdered root has been used as an ointment or poultice, especially combined with an antiseptic herb such as myrrh (Commiphora spp.)[
]. The powdered root has traditionally been made into a poultice for treating smallpox sores[
Plants can be grown as groundcover[
The starch obtained from the root is also used as a base for face powders and in certain types of glue[
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