Please help ID this tuber

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Thean, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Good Morning folks,
    This tuber is sold as arrowroot in Edmonton. Can anyone please provide me with its Botanical name?
    Thank you
    Thean
     

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  2. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Hi Thean. If it's really arrowroot, it's Maranta arundinacea.

    Where did you find it? Lucky 97? If so, they labeled it correctly. However, some of the other oriental supermarkets are a bit less scrupulous, and tend to sell pale Cassava under the same name.
     
  3. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Good Morning Lorax,
    The tubers have been sold for a decade or so now by Lucky 97, other Oriental groceries and Canadian Superstores. Everyone of them labels the tuber as Arrowroot. I'm familiar with Maranta. Maranta produces rhizomes, this one is definitely a root and that's why I'm questioning the label. Having said that I also realize that common name is never common and is misleading for proper identification. When injured or cut the tuber has the characteristic legume smell something like freshly uprooted peanut bush. The Orientals here use it in pork or chicken bone soups only. I'm wondering if it could be Kudzu or Goa bean.
    Peace
    Thean
     
  4. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Well, it seems kind of small for a Kudzu tuber - those things are huge and more cylindrical, and I've eaten them before; the smell is less leguminous. I'd be more inclined to think Goa Bean, which is also sometimes called Arrowroot.

    Bah. I hate common names.
     
  5. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Good Morning Lorax,
    In old country, Pueraria is one of the cover crops grown in rubber and oil palm plantations. We never thought of it as a tuber. My dad had a Goa Bean, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus but we were so focus on harvesting the young beans that we never dug out any root. So although I knew it produced tubers, I have never seen one.
    I bought the tuber in the picture from Superstore. It was the smallest I could find in the pile. It was about 8" long. The rest were around foot long and 4" in diameter.
    Peace
    Thean
     
  6. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Pueraria was imported here to Ecuador as a human-consumption crop, actually, and it was only later that we cottoned on that the leaves were good for goats and cattle. The tuber is available all up and down the coast, and you know it's Kudzu because it's several meters long and you buy it by telling the vendor how many centimeters of it you want. Hence "give me 10 of Kudzu" gets you a decimeter of tuber, usually about $0.50.

    We don't do Goa Bean here, which is odd considering all of the other strange things we grow. On the upside, though, our sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are purple!
     

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