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Edible Portion: Fruit, Root, Rhizome, Tubers, Vegetable, Flowers

A broad leafed plant with purple leaf sheaths. It is about 1.5 to 2.5 m high. It grows as a perennial. The stems are in clusters. The leaves are large and smooth. They are dark green but can be reddish in some varieties. The leaf base forms a sheath around the stem. The flowers are red and produced at the top of the plant. The petals are small and red and 4-10 mm wide. The fruit is a 3 celled capsule with black seeds. Underground it has a much branched root or rhizome with fattened sections covered with leaf scars. These are often light red on the outside and yellowish white inside. A clump of 15-20 suckers often develops. These starchy tubers are from 6 cm across to 15 cm long. The shape varies. The seeds are black and hard. They are 5-7 mm across.