Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. 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. More >>>

Follow Us:


Amorphophallus paeoniifolius - (Dennst.)Nicolson.

Common Name Elephant Yam, Whitespot giant arum
Family Araceae
USDA hardiness 11-12
Known Hazards Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, 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. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet[238].
Habitats Loose leafy detritus in moist shady habitats[200]. Tropical conditions in secondary forests, shrub forests and grasslands in arid valley areas at elevations below 750 metres[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, north Australia, western Pacific
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Amorphophallus paeoniifolius Elephant Yam, Whitespot giant arum
Amorphophallus paeoniifolius Elephant Yam, Whitespot giant arum


Translate this page:


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Amorphophallus paeoniifolius is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Flies.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


A. campanulatus. (Roxb.)Blume.


Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Root
Edible Uses:

Rhizome - cooked[2, 4, 103, 105]. Acrid raw[2], it must be thoroughly boiled or baked[46, 61]. A very large root, it can be up to 50cm in diameter[200, 243, 266]. Caution is advised, see notes above on probable toxicity. Leaves and petioles - they must be thoroughly cooked[105, 183]. Caution is advised, see notes above on possible toxicity.


Medicinal Uses

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.
Carminative  Expectorant  Restorative  Stomachic  Tonic

The root is carminative, restorative, stomachic and tonic[240, 243]. It is dried and used in the treatment of piles and dysentery[240, 243]. The fresh root acts as an acrid stimulant and expectorant, it is much used in India in the treatment of acute rheumatism[240, 243]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.


Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

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.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Scented Plants


Cultivation details

Requires shade and a rich soil in its native habitats, but it probably requires a position with at least moderate sun in Britain. Cultivated for its edible tuber in Asia[2], plants are not winter hardy outdoors in Britain but are sometimes grown outdoors in this country as part of a sub-tropical bedding display[1]. The tuber is harvested in the autumn after top growth has been cut back by frost and it must be kept quite dry and frost-free over winter[1, 133]. It is then potted up in a warm greenhouse in spring ready to be planted out after the last expected frosts. The tubers are planted 15cm deep[1]. It is unclear from the reports that we have seen whether or not this root can be divided, it is quite possible that seed is the only means of increase[K]. The plant has one enormous leaf and one spadix annually. It requires hand pollination in Britain[1, 133]. 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[245].


Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now


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 24°c[133]. 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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Achung, Arsaghna, Ba-tel-hawng, Badur, Baghraj, Balukand, Bebebikeno, Buk, Chena, Daiga, FiÕi Andoi, Hakai, Hita, Iles-iles, Jimmikand, Kanda, Karnai-kilangu, Kembang bangah, Keobi, Leba, Loka, Loki, Ol kochu, Ol, Ool, Pungapung, Soa, Soro, Stinking Snakeskin Lily, Suran, Suvarna gadde, Suweg, Talingo potato, Telinga potato, Teve, Ubi kekek, Voodoo lily, Walur, Whitespot giant arum, Zamin-kand.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Coming Soon

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Least Concern

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Amorphophallus konjacDevil's Tongue, Devil's Tongue, Snake Plant, Konjac, Konnyaku Potato, Voodoo LilyPerennial1.3 6-11 FLMFSM422
Amorphophallus rivieriDevil's Tongue, Umbrella Arum, Leopard Palm, Snake PalmPerennial0.8 10-11  LMSNM22 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment



Botanical References


Links / References

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.

Readers comment

RAJA CHOWDARY   Sat Feb 19 20:58:32 2005

hai this is raja,i just want to know the molecular methods for the production of disease resistant varities of elephant foot yam

   Thu Apr 14 09:59:44 2005

Amorphophallus paeoniifolius is a highly potential cash crop. Details of commercial cultivation, planting material production and about a unique Revolving Fund Scheme run by the author are described in the website.

iswarya   Mon Jun 13 07:29:27 2005

hi,this is ishwarya.i want to know about the compounds and metabolites present in this amorphophallus campanulatus,and amorphophallus paeoniifolius

malar   Mon Dec 19 2005

hi this malar i want to know about active principles in amorphpphallus paenoiifolius

Kergraiy   Mon Apr 10 2006

very helpful, i needed it for a school assignment, and it proved to have almost ALL of the info i needed!

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Amorphophallus paeoniifolius  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.
Web Design & Management