'AMORPHOPHLLUS CAMPANULATUS' FAMILY 'ARACEAE'

 ABOUT 'ALOCASIA INDICA' PLANT


Amorphophallus campanulatus


FAMILY:- ARACEAE
 

BOTANICAL NAME:- Amorphophallus campanulatus
 

VERNACULAR NAMES :
 

SINHALA : Kidaran, Wal-kidaran, Raja ala
TAMIL : Karunaikkalangu. 
ENGLISH : Elephant yam.
 



DESCRIPTION :
 

A herb up to 1.25 m in height. Tubers of corms large, yellow or brown, 20-25 cm in diameter with central depression. Cormes are also formed underground, 5-10 being produced from the main corm or tuber.
 

LEAVES:- Single leaves large, tripartite, each part subdivided into numerous lobes, 30-80 cm long, with red markings.
 

FLOWERS:- Spathes 20-25 cm in length, with strong unpleasant odour, borne on a terminal inflorescence produced by the tuber (Jayaweera, 1981).
 

DISTRIBUTION :
 

A native to tropical Asia (Tindall, 1993). It is cultivated in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Pacific Islands.
 

EDIBLE PARTS : The tubers, young leaves.
 

FOOD USE: The boiled or roasted corms are eaten as a staple. Occasionally curries are also prepared from corms and leaves. The corm is useful in periods of food scarcity.
 

NUTRITIONAL AND THERAPEUTIC VALUE :
 

Moisture - 78.9 g, 
Energy - 79 kcal, 
Protein - 1.2 g, 
Fats - 0.1 g, 
Carbohydrate -18.4 g, 
Calcium - 50 mg, 
Phosphorus -34 mg, 
Iron - 0.6 mg, 
Carotene - 260 meg, 
Thiamine -60 meg, 
Riboflavin - 70 meg, 
Niacin - 0.7 mg (Gopalan et al., 1971). 

The corm is used externally to relieve pain in acute rheumatism. The corm and roots are good for hemorrhoids (Jayaweera, 1981).
 

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE:
 

Fertile, deep alluvial soils are preferable. Temperature between 25-35°C and rainfall of 1000-1500 mm are considered suitable for elephant yams. Mostly productive at elevations below 1000 m.
 

CULTIVATION :
 

Areas for cultivation - In Jaffna as well as in other locations of the low country wet zone.
 

Planting season- Planting is generally done with the rains either in the Maha or Yala.
 

Land preparation- It involves making planting beds or ridges.
 

Planting and space- Small corms or portions of 3-year old corms are planted on flat beds or ridges at a depth of 10-15 cm at a spacing of 30-100 cm x 30 60 cm, depending on the age and size of the corms. Mulching or shading may be required in the early stages of growth. The corms usually are dug and replanted over a 3-year cycle.
 

Time to harvest- Trie crop matures in 220-350 days after planting and the corms are excavated when the leaves become sencecent. After 3 years of growth, the corms weigh 7-9 kg each and are considered marketable.
 

Harvesting- Tubers are lifted carefully without injuring the tubers.
 

STORAGE:

The corms are carefully cleaned and stored in heaps, preferably in well-ventilated sheds. They may lose up 25% of their weight during the first month of storage, but may be successfully stored for 7 months at 10°C