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Amorphophallus bulbifer

Description: Winter dormant.  Tubers can grow to large size. Beautiful segmented leaves on a strong petiole that is mottled in various shades of green. Flowers in late spring / early summer before the leaves are produced. The flower is very attractive and colourful with a spathe that is mottled on the outside and a rich crimson/pink on the inside with a distinctive cream coloured spadix. This is another species of Aroid that emits an unpleas an odour. The leaves are produced immediately after flowering. As the leave mature, small bulbils are produced on the forks of leaf segments. These bulbils reach pea size when the leaves die down in late autumn. The bulbils and tubers remain dormant throughout winter. In late spring the tiny bulbils produces leaves and start our on their own.

Habitat: Widely distributed from Nepal to Northeast India in the sub Himalayan range and also in mainland India.

Ethnobotany: The tender petioles of newly emerging leaves are harvested locally and  sold in bunches in the markets. Petioles and leaflets are chopped, boiled and the water drained. The succulent pieces of petiole are then made into a curry or salad. One key ingredient to use in this preparation is lots of lime/lemon juice as this counteracts the tendency otherwise of irritation of the throat when eaten without lime/lemon juice.

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petioles with juvenile leaflets on sale at the local market