Elephant Foot Yam
Other common names: Elephant Yam, Telingo Potato, Sweet Yam, Corpse Flower, 巨花蒟蒻
Elephant Foot Yam is a large crop with edible root known as a corm which is used in curries, stews, chips or pickles. Young leaves are also cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
Elephant Foot Yams are part of the Araceae or Aroid family, which includes other edible plants like Taro. Many ornamental members of the family are very popular as houseplants, including Monsteras and Devil’s Ivy.
Sun and soil needs:
Elephant Foot Yam grows well in 2-4 hours of direct sunlight or more than 6 hours of indirect sunlight. This plant will not do well in places with a lot of sun and is vulnerable to sunburn.
Plants do best in pots with loamy soil at least 60cm deep, or in true ground. These plants are vulnerable to root rot, so ensure that your pots drain well, and that your soil has plenty of organic matter to let the roots breathe.
Elephant Foot Yams grow as singular leaf stalks that fan out into an umbrella-shaped canopy like a small tree. Its large size can crowd out nearby plants, so it is best planted by itself in an area of 2 meters by 2 meters.
The leaf stalk may die back after some time, and the corm will produce a new one. The plant will also produce additional small corms around itself, which can be harvested for replanting or for consumption.
Plants can be harvested for corms and young leaflets at any time. The corms are typically harvested via division, while leaflets are harvested via the cut-and-come-again method. The plant takes up to a year to produce new corms for harvest.
Elephant Foot Yams are propagated via division of the corm.
Common problems & solutions:
This plant is relatively resistant to pests and disease if kept healthy.
Wilting leaves during hot weather is a sign of heat stress. Increase the number of times the plant is watered daily or add mulch to prevent water loss.
This plant is susceptible to nematodes which cause the plant to have galls on its roots which result in leaf wilting and root decay. Rotate your crops and change the soil to remedy the infestation.