Jul 182012

It seems we can’t get enough seeing this ubiquitous plant inside the farm. Each time we rid of weeds and trim the native trees of stubborn branches, this wild vegetable will just pop-up like mushrooms to take advantage of the readily available sunlight. It’s a waste that we don’t really eat this at home but I’ve heard countless times from older folks that they collect the tender stalks from  young shoots and cook them with fish and guava or with chilies and coconut milk; I have eaten taro stalks prepared either way and trust me it’s delicious! Someone who’s not careful in handling this plant may end up having skin irritations they say, as well as someone who hasn’t prepared or cooked it properly will have mouth and throat irritations after eating.  I would love to have it for a meal but would rather leave the collecting and the preparation to experts!

Local name :   Pongapong

Trade name :   Elephant yam

Botanical name :   Amorphophallus paeoniifolius

Family :   Araceae

Habit :   Disturbed areas, moist thickets, open grasslands

Traits :  Perennial herb; Inflorescence malodorous

Recommendations :   Backyard vegetable; Conversation piece; Garden material; Potted

Native range :  Madagascar, India, Bangladesh, China, Southeast Asia (including the Philippines), Australia, Polynesia

Conservation status :   Not threatened in the Philippines

Further reading :

Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson  by Wilbert Hetterscheid   http://www.aroid.org/genera/amorphophallus/paeoniifolius/paeon.php (1256)

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