Voodoo lily is a perennial generally grown as a curiosity for its interesting foliage. Native to warm subtropical to tropical areas of eastern Asia, including Vietnam, Japan and China south to Indonesia, Amorphophallus konjac has been known by several other scientific names including A. The leaf stalk is mottled pinkish gray and olive green. The starchy tubers are edible and this plant is grown for food in some parts of the world, processed into a tasteless flour or stiff jelly which can be used as a vegan substitute for gelatin. The Japanese use konjac flour to make shirataki noodles, and the starch is used to make a popular Asian fruit jelly snack.
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We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos.
Devil's tongue or Amorphophallus konjac is a perennial plant with a bipinnate single leaf growing from a corm. The leaf grows up to cm long while the corm grows up to 30 cm in diameter. The plant is widely cultivated in Japan and China as food source. The corm is edible but contains calcium oxalate that makes it toxic if consumed raw, so it must be cooked thoroughly or fully dried. In Japan, the corm is known as a great source of Konnyaku, a type of flour used in many dietary products, and jelly.
Flowers are used as treatment for fever. The root is used in facilitating childbirth, as a sialogogue increases the saliva flow rate , and as treatment for cancer. The corm contains glucomannan which helps in weight loss, relieving constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, and reducing serum cholesterol levels.
The plant also has insecticidal properties. Amorphophallus mairei H. Amorphophallus nanus H. Long Amorphophallus palmiformis Durieu. The root must be thoroughly boiled or baked, it is acrid when raw see notes above on 'Known Hazards'[ K ] [ ]. Very large, it can be up to 30cm in diameter[ ]. In Japan the large brown tubers are peeled, cooked and pounded to extract their starch, which is solidified with dissolved limestone into an edible gel called 'Konnyaku'[ ].
Konnyaku is a type of flour valued for its use in many dietary products[ ]. The flour is valued for its ability to clean the digestive tract without being a laxative[ ]. A nutritional analysis is available[ ]. This root is very high in water and low in calories, so it is being promoted as a diet food in N.
America[ ]. Especially just before the foliage declines prior to dormancy, the tubers are a rich source of mannan, a polysaccharide of mannose and glucose[ ].
The mannose is extracted and widely used in foods for diabetics[ ]. Glucomannan, a soluble fibre formed from mannan and glucose, cannot be metabolized by the human body, but is metabolized by intestinal bacteria. Inside the digestive system, glucomannan absorbs up to times its weight in water without any negative action upon the digestive system. It therefore can give a feeling of fullness and be of use to aid in weight loss, it also relieves constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as reducing serum cholesterol levels[ ].
Glucomannan is widely used as an emulsifier and stabilizer in foods and drinks[ ]. Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally. The root is oxytocic and sialagogue[ ]. It is used in the treatment of cancer[ ]. Glucomannan, a soluble fibre obtained from the tuber, cannot be metabolized by the human body, but is metabolized by intestinal bacteria.
The flowers are febrifuge[ ]. Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil. Agroforestry Uses: A system of cultivation, known as jinjenjo, is often practised in Japan. In this, the plants are grown in a natural plant community and heavily mulching the plants with grain straw or wild herbs.
The plants thus grown are remarkably free from pests and diseases. The largest tubers are harvested at the end of the year, leaving the rest in the ground to grow on for harvest in later years[ ]. Other Uses The plant has insecticidal properties[ ]. Glucomannan, obtained from the tuber, has a wide range of used in various industries. It has gelling and film-forming properties and is widely used as an emulsifier and stabilizer in foods, drinks, cosmetics and the pharmaceutical industry.
It is also used as a non-clay drilling fluid in the diamond and oil industries[ ]. Ground cover. Food Forest. Plants can tolerate a minimum temperature of 15c during the growing season, though the optimum range is 20 - 25c[ ]. The best crops are produced on deep, fertile, alluvial soils that are slightly acid[ ]. Dislikes heavy clay soils[ ].
Plants require some shade, especially when young[ ]. Members of this genus generally require a moist but well-drained, humus-rich, fertile soil and a position in dappled shade[ ]. The plant produces one enormous leaf and one flowering stem annually. When ripe for pollination, the flowers have a foetid smell to attract carrion flies and midges.
This smell disappears once the flower has been pollinated[ ]. The tubers are planted 15cm deep[ 1 ]. 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 plant is heat tolerant in zones 12 through Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 no heat days to 12 or more heat days.
For example Heat Zone. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture form - tree, shrub etc. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread .
The root pattern is a corm swelling at the stem base . Celsius Fahrenheit:. Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs. Seed - best sown in a pot in a warm greenhouse as soon as it is ripe and the pot sealed in a plastic bag to retain moisture.
It usually germinates in 1 - 8 months at 24c[ ]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least a couple of years.
Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away strongly. Division of offsets[ 1 ]. These are rarely produced[ 1 ]. Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section.
Author K. For a list of references used on this page please go here A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.
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To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately. You can unsubscribe at anytime. Follow Us:. Amorphophallus konjac - K. 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.
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We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. Devil's tongue or Amorphophallus konjac is a perennial plant with a bipinnate single leaf growing from a corm. The leaf grows up to cm long while the corm grows up to 30 cm in diameter. The plant is widely cultivated in Japan and China as food source.
It is also known as konjaku , konnyaku potato , devil's tongue , voodoo lily , snake palm , or elephant yam though this name is also used for A. The single leaf is up to 1. The food made from the corm of this plant is widely known in English by its Japanese name, konnyaku yam cake , being cooked and consumed primarily in Japan and Korea. The two basic types of cake are white and black.