Amorphophallus konjac (Devil's Tongue, Elephant Yam, Konjac, Konnyaku Potato, Snake Palm, Voodoo lily) (2024)

Amorphophallus konjac, or Voodoo Lily, is a herbaceous, cormous, perennial plant found in forest margins and thickets in China. It has glossy brown edible corms (bobo-tuber) that produce rhizomatous offsets each year. The plant is widely cultivated in Japan and China as food source and as an ornamental. The corm is edible but contains calcium oxalate that makes it toxic if consumed raw. The large showy flowers are purple and appear in the spring.

Plants tolerate a minimum temperature of 60 degrees F during the growing season, though the optimum range is 68 to 77 degrees F. Voodoo lily grows best in moist but well-drained, humus-rich, fertile soil and dappled shade. It does not tolerate clay soil. Avoid hot, afternoon sun, especially when the leaf first emerges and is most sensitive to scorching. Fertilize regularly. Reduce watering during the winter dormant period. The leaf and inflorescence are intolerant of frost but the corm is hardy. The plant produces one enormous leaf from the corm and one flowering stem annually. When ripe for pollination, the flowers emit an odor of rotten flesh that attracts carrion flies and midges. The smell disappears once the flower has been pollinated. The plant heats the flowering spadix as the pollen becomes ready for fertilization, which greatly increases the strength of the aroma released by the plant, attracting more pollinating insects.

Diseases, Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insect pest issues.

Amorphophallus konjac (Devil's Tongue, Elephant Yam, Konjac, Konnyaku Potato, Snake Palm, Voodoo lily) (2024)

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