Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennstedt) Nicolson

Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennstedt) Nicolson




A. campanulatus Decaisne, A. rex Prain, A. gigantiflorus Hayata.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Loki, ubi kekek.
English Elephant yam, telinga potato.
Indonesia Suweg (cultivated), walur, eles (wild).
Philippines Pungapung (Tagalog), anto (Bisaya), bagong (Bikol).
Cambodia Toal.
Laos Duk düa (General), kabuk (Southern).
Thailand Buk (General), buk-khungkhok (South-eastern), man-suran (Central).
Vietnam Khoai n[uw]a, n[uw]a chu[oo]ng.

Geographical Distributions

Amorphophallus paeoniifolius occurs in a wild and cultivated from Madagascar eastwards via India and Southeast Asia to Polynesia, including also southern China and northern Australia. Because it easily escapes from cultivation and naturalise, its exact origin is unknown.


A. paeoniifolius is a tuber that can reach up to 30 cm in diametre, measures 20 cm long and weighs up to 25 kg. This dark brown species produces seasonal rhizomatous offsets measuring up to 10 cm x 4 cm.

The petiole measuring up to 200 cm x 20 cm, shallowly corrugate to strongly echinate-verrucate, pale to dark green with numerous pale blotches and with small dark dots. The blade measuring up to 3 m in diametre, highly dissected and with winged rachises.

The leaflets are rounded-ovate to lanceolate and measuring 3-35 cm x 2-12 cm. The peduncle is 3-20 cm x 1-8 cm and elongates to 1 m length in fruiting.

The spathe is 10-40 cm x 15-60 cm, spreading limb and strong undulate, pale green to dark brown and with paler spots outside while glossy dark brown inside. The spadix is shorter or longer than the spathe measures 7-70 cm long.

The berry is cylindrical, measuring 1.5-2 cm x 8-10 mm and bright red.

Ecology / Cultivation

A. paeoniifolius develops best with an evenly distributed rainfall of 1000-1500 mm during the growing period. A. paeoniifolius is found in many different soil types but never under swampy conditions. It prefers well-drained soils with high humus content. A deep sandy-loamy soil with pH 6-7.5 is favourable; clay soils are unsuitable because they hamper tuber development.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 9: Plants yielding non-seed carbohydrates.