West Indian Arrowroot

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Cornonthecob, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Cornonthecob

    Cornonthecob Junior Member

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    Has anyone grown West Indian Arrowroot?

    I'm thinking of buying one and was wondering if it can be divided like normal arrowroot.

    :)
     
  2. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    YOu're really going for the tubers and root dividable stuff right now wh Corny? Good on you. Is it a canna? If so, it would divide. I bet it would anyway, with a name like that.
     
  3. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Can someone help with a point of clarification.

    I had been led to believe, for years, that arrowroot [flour] was the english name for cassava. Recently watching gardening on TV and this forum I find that a type of canna is called arrowroot. Are they both right or was I misinformed?

    floot
     
  4. Cornonthecob

    Cornonthecob Junior Member

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    From what I've read the West Indian Arrowroot is what they grow for commercial arrowroot flour.

    I have heaps of the Queensland Arrowroot growing here...just want the Indian Arrowroot for something different.

    Yes Richard....I defiantely have the grow and divide bug right now. Am well and truely bitten!

    :)
     
  5. kathleenmc

    kathleenmc Junior Member

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    Hi all,

    The West Indian arrowroot is the same as the Queensland one...although the Queensland one has been grown in Aus for years and has probably evolved now for our conditions over the years, but it never occured naturally here in Aus. It is from the canna family.

    Cassava and its edible root are way different and not from the canna family and it should be noted EXTREMELY toxic if not prepared properly. The skin around the root is full of cyanide and can make you so sick it can kill you. But it is a wonderful and easy plant to grow and the starchy root is a staple in most pacific countries.

    Cheers Kathleen
     
  6. Sonya

    Sonya Junior Member

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    Hi,

    Cassava produces tapioca, arrowroot produces arrowroot flour. Corny, I've got West Indian arrowroot here, much smaller plant than the Qld one (Queensland Arrowroot Canna Edulis). The West Indian one is a slender plant with pointed leaves and is the true starchy arrowroot according to the notes I have on it.

    Cheers,
    Sonya.
     
  7. PennyG

    PennyG Junior Member

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    I have canna edulis growing and multiplying well. Has anyone got any ideas how to cook/use it?
     
  8. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Floot, cassava is Manihot esculenta, a euphorbia. West Indian arrowroot is Maranta arundinacea, an herbaceous perennial. It grows wild here, in disturbed areas, especially. On out place it sems to prefer well drained soils at the top of ridges. We don't use it for much besides making mulch. If anyone has any idea of how to use it, I would love to know!

    We do have LOTS of cassavea, four varieties. Three are "sweet" and can be eaten, and one is grown to make an organic insecticide for leaf cutter ants. We eat the "sweet" varieties, and cassava is the staple fod of the Garifuna people, who live on the coast. They make a cassava bread with it that is an important cultural food for them. Maya people will boil the cassava (which breaks down the cyanide) and feed it to pigs, or eat it, but they don't eat it often.

    We like to boil cassava, plantain, coco yam (like taro), sweet potato, yam, yampi, and some greens, with chile pepper, all in a rich broth of coconut milk. Yummmmmmm.[/u]
     
  9. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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  10. hedwig

    hedwig Junior Member

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    eden sells seeds for queensland arrowroot. Did anyone try? Easy to germinate? What type of soil do they need (I've got some batches of very bad soil left-over) How about water? Sow in spring?
    I don't know if arrowroot is the same than manioca or yucca???
    Starchy roots we could cook with chicken and potatoes....
     
  11. Cornonthecob

    Cornonthecob Junior Member

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    I have Queensland Arrowroot seeds...I planted about 10 a few weeks ago but they've failed to germinate. No doubt due as much to the weather as anything else.

    I will plant the rest of the seeds out early next month, making sure this time that I let them soak for a few hours first.

    If all you have is 'bad' soil then I would plant away....just make sure you have lots of mulch on top and you can water them a fair bit, though I have read that arrowroot can survive on little water.

    You can cook arrowroot just like you would a potato (not that I've eaten any yet).

    :)
     
  12. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

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    So, they are both in the Zingerberificacious family, but they aren't the same genus or species... Interesting.
    Penny, Qld Arrowroot, is sort of bland and starchy, but you can go ahead and bake it (with other vegetables perhaps and some herbs and spices to make it more interesting) or it makes a good additive to soups and stews. Obviously, it is very starchy, so it will thicken your soup or stew quite a bit, and it really does help to fill the pot. (not to mention the stomach).
    Daniel Sheridan, who was at Tagari when I was there, used to use it like that a lot, but then he was a master Permaculture chef!
    I guess you could do the whole process of separating out the starch.
    I've heard of it being boiled into a mush and then mixed with eggs and put through a pasta maker and used instead of wheat noodles or whatever. I still haven't tried it for myself.
    Back at Tagari again, we used to feed it to the chooks, pigs, and even the cows, when we could be bothered to dig it up, peel it, cook it and let it cool off. Of course, as Christopher said about the Maranta, the tops of Canna edulis makes great mulch, and they grow back really fast.
    I can't find any here on Maui. If anyone is coming over and wants to smuggle in some tubers they can have a free nights accomodation at my place!
     
  13. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    I've found it's best to eat Canna edulis like a potato when the tubers are little with whitish skin still Penny...much beyond that and they're only good for a thickening flour IMO.

    Bit more on what you can do with them cooking wise here.

    Also good for making terra petra apparently.
     
  14. PennyG

    PennyG Junior Member

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    What is terra petra?
     
  15. christopher

    christopher Junior Member

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    Bazman is the expert on terra pretta (IMO), but it is basically charred biomass. The charcoal is mostly carbon, and it absorbs nutrients in the soil which weathering and rain cannot drag out, only fine feeder roots.

    The phenomenon was discovered in the Amazon, in an area of jungle that may have housed very high population densities.

    Look up "bio-char" here and it should turn up.
     

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