Dragon Stalk Yam
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Dragon Stalk Yam
P Native Unknown Photo: Kiran Srivastava
Common name: Dragon Stalk Yam • Malayalam: കാട്ടുചേന kattucena • Marathi: मोगरी कंद mogari kanda, शेवळा shevala
Botanical name: Amorphophallus commutatus    Family: Araceae (Arum family)
Synonyms: Conophallus commutatus, Amorphophallus commutatus var. wayanadensis

Amorphophallus is a large genus of some 170 tropical and subtropical tuberous herbaceous plants, which includes the world's largest flower, Titan Arum. Dragon Stalk Yam grows from a subterranean tuber. From the top of this tuber a single leaf is produced atop a trunk like petiole followed, on maturity, by a single inflorescence. This leaf consists of a vertical leaf stalk and a horizontal blade, which may consist of a number of small leaflets. The leaf lasts one growing season. This flower appears before the onset of the monsoon and the leaves appear with the rains. Flowers have a fetid smell and attract flies for pollination. Amorphophallus commutatus fruits are eaten by koels and bulbuls.
Medicinal uses: Tuber paste is applied externally to cure scabies.

Identification credit: Kiran Srivastava Photographed in Sanjay Gandhi National park, Mumbai.

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