West-Indian Arrowroot
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West-Indian Arrowroot
ntroduced Photo: Manu Nair
Common name: West-Indian Arrowroot, obedience plant, Bermuda Arrowroot • Hindi: अरारोट Ararot, Tikhor, Tikkor • Kannada: kuvehittu, tavaksiri • Malayalam: kuva, kuvva • Manipuri: ꯑꯂꯥꯂꯨ Alalu • Mizo: Thialbal • Sanskrit: तवक्षीरी Tavaksiri, Tugaksiri • Tamil: araruttukkilangu, aruruttukkilangu, kookai neer • Telugu: Palagunda, Palagunta
Botanical name: Maranta arundinacea    Family: Marantaceae (Arrowroot family)
Synonyms: Maranta sylvatica

West-Indian Arrowroot is a perennial plant growing to about 2 feet tall. It has small white flowers and fruits approximately the size and shape of currants. The rootstocks are dug when the plant is one year old, and often exceed 1 foot in length and 1.9 cm in diameter. They are yellowish white, jointed and covered with loose scales. The numerous, ovate, smooth leaves are 5-25 cm long, with long sheaths often enveloping the stem.West-Indian Arrowroot is native to South America, but widely cultivated in the tropical world.
Medicinal uses: West-Indian Arrowroot is chiefly valuable as an easily digested, nourishing diet for convalescents, especially in bowel complaints, as it has demulcent properties.

Identification credit: Manu Nair Photographed in Kannur, Kerala.

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