West Indian Arrowroot /Maranta Arundinacea/
West Indian arrowroot is an upright perennial herb growing about 1.2m with a short stem and 6-10 leaves about 30-50cm long. It has a shallow root system, with rhizomes that penetrate more deeply into the soil. It looks similar to turmeric in growth.
The high-quality, digestible starch is washed from the grated tubers and used in baking and for thickening sauces and desserts.
Young shoots and rhizomes are boiled and eaten as a vegetable.
The rhizomes taste similar to a potato.
Subtropics to tropics
Prefers a fertile, moist soil in a sunny or partially shaded position.
Best grown on a mound in friable soil to encourage root production.
Plants are propagated with healthy rhizomes. Remove the stems and leaves and plant in Spring about 5cm deep and about 30cm apart.
The roots and tender shoots are eaten raw or cooked.
Risks and weed potential
Harvesting & Processing
The rhizomes mature about 10 months after planting. When the leaves turn yellow and fall over gently, lift the tubers form the soil and brush off the soil.
Tubers will store in a cool dark place until the following Spring.