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AMORPHOPHALLUS konjac

Image of Amorphophallus konjac

Felder Rushing

Family

Araceae

Botanical Name

AMORPHOPHALLUS konjac

Plant Common Name

Devil's Tongue, Elephant Yam, Konjac

General Description

A bizarre, summer-growing plant with with a large smelly inflorescence and an immense, waxy and fleshy leaf and stalk, this tuberous perennial is native from China to Indonesia. The maroon, funnel-shaped spathe emerges in spring on a tall wrist-thick stem that bears snakeskin-like marbling. The spear-shaped purple spadix protrudes from the spathe. The highly dissected dark green leaf arises on a mottled stem after the flowers collapse.

Plant devil's tongue in a fertile, well drained soil in partial shade, and keep it amply watered while it is in leaf. The plant goes dormant in winter, when it should receive little or no moisture. It is remarkably cold hardy if heavily mulched in winter. It makes an ideal plant for containers and tropical gardens. The starchy corm is utilized by many cultures in Asia as a flour, jelly, and fiber source.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 11

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    5'-6' / 1.5m - 1.8m

  • Width

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Burgundy

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Purple

  • Foliage Color (Summer) Modifier

    Spotted/Mottled

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Purple

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Spotted/Mottled

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No