Sunday, October 9, 2011

Elephant Foot Yam Cultivation


Scientific name  : Amorphophallus paeoniifolius
Synonym           : Amorphophallus campanulatus
Family               : Araceae 
Order                : Alismatales

English name      : Elephant foot,Elephant foot yam,Elephant foot aroid,Elephant yam,Elephant 
                           bread,Suran, Sweet yam etc
elephant foot plant
Elephant Foot Yam is one of the hugely popular fresh vegetables. Elephant Foot Yam is a Southeast Asian
elephant foot yam flower

crop, which is widely used in cooking, while preparing delicious cuisine. Elephant yam probably originates from India or Sri Lanka.   Elephant yam is grown in Bangladesh, India, South-East Asia and in Africa.

elephant foot plants in a kitchen yard
Elephant foot is a perennial herb. It usually takes 3 to 4 years before the corms are harvested. It is a  is a tropical tuber crop, grown for its round corm. The stems can be 1 to 2 meters tall. Leaves (usually one or
two on a stem) are about 50 cm long and consist of several oval leaflets.

Tubers: Round corms are usually 3 to 9 kilo, depending on the number of seasons that the crop was grown before harvest. They can even reach 25 kg. Elephant yam grows in the tropics and needs a high temperature and high humidity.Its plants grow upto the height of  1 to 2 meters.

Propagation: For the propagation of elephant foot yam, small corms (cormels) or buds are used. These are produced below ground level at the base of the stem.
elephant foot tuber

Insect pests: 

Diseases: A common disease is foot rot (Rhizoctonia solani).
Elephant foot yam plant from a Singapore kitchen garden

Harvesting: When the leaves begin to wither and die the corms can be dug up by hand.


The corm of Elephant foot is eaten as a vegetable, usually boiled or baked.
Elephant yam is also sometimes grown for its medicinal properties.

Decorative plant at kitchen garden

Elephant foot yam plant (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius) can be  grown in kitchen gardens . These can also be planted in pots can be kept in front of doors as decorative plants . It looks so nice as if  painted in green and white colours .Flowering elephant foot plants are worth watching .

Ornamental Leaves

The plant had three leaves, with one that was smaller and yellowing. The other two healthy and sturdier ones are rather pretty and the leaflets that emerge from each petiole may lead those who are unfamiliar with the plant to think that it is a papaya plant instead. The petioles are also beautifully mottled. The whole plant looks quite ornamental in a strange way.

The subterranean tubers of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius are rich in starch and can be bought from the shops .

Besides being known as a source of starch, the elephant foot yam is famous for another thing – its foul-smelling inflorescence. Instead of a sweet fragrance, the elephant food yam’s inflorescence when newly opened, smells of rotting flesh.

Another thing to note is the obscene appearance of the spadix in the elephant foot yam’s inflorescence and this fact has been cast in stone via the genus name for this group of plants – Amorphophallus. In Greek, amorphos means “misshapen” while phallos refers to the male reproductive organ.


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