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Jalawur (Tacca leontopetaloides)

Polynesian arrowroot or jalawur (Tacca leontopetaloides) is a species of plant in the Dioscoreaceae, producing tubers, broad single leaves, flowers and fruit at the end of stalks and very long sticks, growing solitary in forests, plantations and abandoned lands.

T. leontopetaloides has a height of up to 2 meters. Tubers are round or flat or protruding wide, have thin skin, are light brown when young and turn dark gray or brown when ripe. The inner tuber is milky white. Tubers grow below the soil surface to a depth of 50 cm.

Dlium Jalawur (Tacca leontopetaloides)


The main tubers are first formed small in size and turn grayish brown, while the branch bulbs have a lighter color and have a larger size. Tubers are processed into flour as a substitute for wheat flour and used as an ingredient in cakes, bread or noodles.

Each tree has 1-3 leaves, are round in shape, have finger leaf bones, are white-green or purplish. Each segment has rounded or banded ears. Leaf stalks with holes, fronds, vertical grooves, bright green or blackish green.

Flowers are protected by outer and inner dressings, are green or yellowish or green with purple edges and square or round in shape. The flower stalk is filiform like a stick, green with a purple tinge.

Flowers do not open perfectly, arranged in 3 + 3 which is rounded inside, green with purple edges and greenish yellow, the edges of the tips are whitish. The outer part is cuff-shaped and purplish green. Flower base protruding, rompang at the end, purple, hairy purple or white glands with white glandular hair.



The fruit has an angle, 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter, elongated, hanging, pale green to dark green, ripe yellowish. The fruit has many seeds, oval to protruding, flat, grooved, 5-8 mm long, 1.5-3 mm wide, brownish yellow, 15-19 grooves.

Ripe fruit and fall to the surface of the soil will give rise to seeds that grow in groups as the first generation. Individuals in the population will compete to survive and only 1-2 individuals will survive by forming tubers in the next generation.

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Dioscoreales
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Tacca
Species: Tacca leontopetaloides

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