Plant Common Name
Devil's Tongue, Elephant Yam, Konjac
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.
Spring, Summer, Fall
Container, Edible, Feature Plant, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical
Sharp or Has Thorns