Tacca leontopetaloides (Dioscoreaceae)

Tacca leontopetaloides

An interesting herb of inland savanna and coastal eucalypt forest, the leaves of this species superficially resembles species of Amorphophallus (the genus that gives us the glorious Titan lily) in the way it is dissected, and the roundish fleshy-looking fruits resemble that of the Crinium lilies. However, this species is in no way related to aroids or lilies. It was previously placed in a family of its own, the Taccaceae, but according to molecular work, this species is surprisingly included in with the yams (Dioscorea spp.) of which it bears little if any resemblance.

Also found in many tropical regions, the tubers of T. leontopetaloides are starchy, making it an important food source for many cultures, including Australian aborigines. The tubers are poisonous if not processed, which typically involved grating or pounding, washing and baking.

Tacca leontopetaloides


About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
This entry was posted in Dioscoreaceae (Yam family), Edible plants, Habitat - Eucalypt Forest, Habitat - Savanna, Lifeform - Herbs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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