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.

Production Requirements


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.

Edible parts

The roots and tender shoots are eaten raw or cooked.

Risks and weed potential

None known

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.



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Paul Crebar
Paul Crebar
4 years ago

I’ve got plenty of this and have been making delicious arrowroot chips. Shallow frying them in coconut oil and adding a pinch of salt. Better than buying the plastic packaged potatoe ones for sure! 🙂

Simply slice super thin, fry for a couple minutes on each side, add some salt and bobs your uncle!