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Maranta arundinacea



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Interesting Facts

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Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Chinese:

Zhu Yu, 竹芋

Common Names in Danish:


Common Names in Dutch:

Arrowroot, Pijlwortel, Salepwortel

Common Names in English:

Arrow-Root, Arrowroot, Bermuda Arrowroot, Maranta, Obedience plant, Stvincent Arrowroot, West Indian Arrowroot

Common Names in Finnish:


Common Names in French:

Arrow root, Arrowroot Des Antilles, Dictame (Antilles), Herbe Aux Flèches, Maranta Arundinacée

Common Names in German:


Common Names in Haitian, Haitian Creole:


Common Names in Hindi:

Tihhor, Tikhor, Tikkor, अरारोट, िटहुर

Common Names in Indonesian:

Garut (tumbuhan)

Common Names in Japanese:

Kuzu-Ukon, Kuzuukon, Maranta, クズウコン

Common Names in Malay:

Garut, Ubi Bemban, Ubi Garut, Yaitu Garut (Indonesia)

Common Names in Portuguese:

Agutiguepa, Agutiguepe, Araruta, Araruta (Brazil), Araruta-Caixulta, Araruta-Comum, Araruta-Especial, Araruta-Gigante, Araruta-Palmeira, Araruta-Raiz-Redonda, Araruta-Ramosa, Aru-Aru

Common Names in Russian:

Maranta Trostnikovaia Maranty Trostnikovoi, Маранта тростниковидная

Common Names in Sanskrit:

Tavaksiri, Tugaksiri

Common Names in Spanish:

Ararú, Araruta, Arrarú, Arrorúz, Arrorruz, Arrurruz, Arruruz, Caña Flecha, Chuchute Tamalera, Cuba, Guape, Guapo (Venezuela), Guate, Jamachipeke (Bolivia), Jamaichepeque, Juá-Juá (Bolivia, Juájuá, Maranta, Puerto Rico), Rizoma De Maranta, Sagú (Costa Rica, Sagú De San Vicente (Cuba), Saguero, Shimipampana (Peru), Shimipampana Blanco, Shimipampana Negro, Silú, Sucu, Sulú, Tacea, Tamalera (Guatemala), Tubérculo De Maranta, Uruguay), Yerén, Yuquilla

Common Names in Sundanese:


Common Names in Swedish:


Common Names in Tamil:

Aruruttukkilangu, Kukai Niru

Common Names in Thai:

สาคู (ไม้ล้มลุก)

Common Names in Turkish:


Common Names in Vietnamese:

Mì tinh


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Family Marantaceae

Herbs perennial , rhizomatous . Aerial stems present or absent. Leaves distichous, usually large; petiole sheathing at base , apex with a swollen pulvinus; leaf blade pinnately veined, lateral veins parallel, slightly S-shaped. Inflorescences terminal or axillary , borne on leafy shoots or occasionally on separate, leafless shoots from rhizomes, compound , headlike, spicate , or diffuse and much branched, bracteate ; bracts each subtending a pair of flowers or a cincinus of paired flowers. Flowers bisexual , asymmetric , paired or rarely borne singly. Sepals 3, free . Corolla lobes 3, often slightly unequal, basally connate into a tube . Staminodes and stamen in 2 whorls: outer whorl with 1 or 2 petaloid staminodes, rarely absent; inner whorl with 1 hooded (cucullate ) staminode enclosing terminal portion of pistil at anthesis and bearing a lateral appendage (trigger ), 1 thickened and fleshy (callose ) staminode, and 1 fertile stamen narrowly petaloid laterally; anther 1-loculed. Ovary inferior, 3-loculed, 1--3 locules fertile; ovules 1 per locule. Style cylindric , adnate to inside of corolla and staminode tube, free portion curved after explosive forward movement (tripping) when released Seeds 1--3, hard, usually arillate .from hooded staminode; stigma scoop-shaped or blunted and 3-cleft. Fruit a capsule, loculicidal, rarely indehiscent or berrylike.

Thirty-one genera and ca. 525 species: pantropical but ca. 80% in America, absent from Australia; four genera (one introduced ) and eight species (two endemic, one introduced) in China.[1]

Genus Maranta

Plants terrestrial , prostrate , scandent , or upright, usually dying back to rhizome during dry season , 0.1--1.5(--1.8) m. Rhizomes occasionally swollen, storing starch . Stems branched or unbranched with basal and cauline leaves to highly branched above elongate , cane-like stem (internode) with few or no basal leaves . Leaves homotropic [rarely antitropic]; sheath usually auriculate , not spongy ; blade [patterned] plain green, ovate to elliptic . Inflorescences usually 2--several per shoot , spikel-like, unbranched; bracts persistent , subtending 2--6 pedicellate flower pairs, herbaceous; prophylls keeled , membranous; secondary bracts absent; bracteoles usually absent. Flowers self-fertilizing [or outcrossing], corolla white, staminodes white [purple]; sepals persistent in fruit, more than 5 mm, herbaceous; corolla tube [4--]12--14 mm, corolla lobes unequal; outer staminodes 2, petal-like; callose staminode apex usually petal-like; cucullate staminode with 1 appendage , medial [subterminal ], flaplike [fingerlike]; stylar movement in single plane ; style unappendaged. Fruits capsules, 1-seeded, obliquely ellipsoid , pericarp relatively thin, dehiscent . Seeds brown, ellipsoid, rugose ; perisperm canal 1, distally branched; aril conspicuous , white.

Species 32: tropical and subtropical regions, s Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America (to n Argentina).[2]

Physical Description

Species Maranta arundinacea

Plants erect , 0.3--1.3 m. Rhizomes tuberous , thickened. Stem often branched above. Leaves: basal 4--8, cauline 1--8; sheath auriculate , 4.5--31 cm, margins and apex densely pilose to nearly glabrous ; petiole often absent in cauline leaves, 3.5--20 cm; pulvinus 0.2--1.8 cm, adaxially tomentose ; blade ovate , 3.5--35 ´ 3--11 cm, basal leaves largest, abaxially glabrous to minutely pilose, adaxially sparsely minutely pilose. Inflorescences: bracts 1--2(--3), 2.4--6 cm; common pedicel of flower pair 2.3--5.5 cm. Flowers: sepals 10--17 mm; corolla white, corolla tube curved , 12--14 mm; staminodes white; ovary tan, densely pubescent , rarely glabrous or nearly glabrous. Fruits green or tinged red-brown, 8 ´ 4--5 mm. 2n = 18, 2n = 48. [source]

Habit: Forb/herb

Flowers: Bloom Period: January, May, June, July, November, December.


Hammocks and moist soil; 0--10 m ; introduced [3].


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Duration: Perennial


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Maranta sylvatica Roscoe Ex Smith


Publishing author : Billb. ex Beurl. Publication : Kongl. Vetensk.-Akad. Handl. 1854 (1856) 108

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Maranta

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 9 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

M. allouia (Llerenes) · M. arundinacea (Arrow-Root) · M. arundinacea 'Variegata' (Arrowroot) · M. bicolor (Prayer Plant) · M. galanga (Greater Galangal) · M. leuconeura (Prayer Plant) · M. leuconeura var. erythroneura (Herringbone Plant) · M. leuconeura var. kerchoveana (Rabbit's Foot) · M. zebrina (Zebra Plant)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 16, 2007:



  1. Delin Wu & Helen Kennedy "Marantaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 379. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. "Maranta". in Flora of North America Vol. 22. Oxford University Press. Online at [back]
  3. "Maranta arundinacea". in Flora of North America Vol. 22. Oxford University Press. Online at [back]
Last Revised: 2015-01-30