The plant contains calcium oxylate crystals. These cause an extremely unpleasant sensation similar to needles being stuck into the mouth and tongue if they are eaten but they are easily neutralized by thoroughly drying or cooking the plant or by steeping it in water.
Tuber - it must be thoroughly dried or cooked before being eaten
. The tubers are boiled and eaten in Nepal, mixed with lime juice (Citrus aurantifolia) or another sour substance
. The tubers are buried in masses in pits until acetous fermentation takes place, they are then dug up, washed and cooked, by which means their acrimonious principles are in part dispersed
. However, violent illness has still been known to follow a hearty meal of the tubers
. See also the notes above on toxicity.
The tubers have insecicidal properties
The roots have been used as a vermifuge in cattle
. The juice of the tubers is applied to the wounds of cattle in order to kill any parasites
. The dried powdered tubers is applied to snake bites
The seeds have been mixed with salt and used to treat colic in sheep
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a cold frame
. Stored seed remains viable for at least a year and can be sown in spring in the greenhouse but it will probably require a period of cold stratification. Germination usually takes place in 1 - 6 months at 15°c
. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least a coupe of years until the corms are more than 20mm in diameter. Plant out into their permanent positions whilst they are dormant.
Division of tubers when the plant dies down in late summer.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Arisaema tortuosum. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Prefers a cool peaty soil in the bog garden, woodland garden or a sheltered border in semi-shade
. Prefers a loamy or peaty soil and will tolerate a sunny position if the soil is moist but not water-logged and the position is not too hot or exposed
Plants are not very hardy outdoors in Britain and are normally best if given protection. However, they can succeed outdoors in the milder areas of the country if the tubers are planted about 20cm deep. Plants require protection from slugs.
Most species in this genus are dioecious, but they are sometimes monoecious and can also change sex from year to year. This species usually bears either monoecious or all male flowers
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Arisaema tortuosum. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Arisaema tortuosum.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? 1.01.11.2 Polunin. O. and Stainton. A. Flowers of the Himalayas. Oxford Universtiy Press (1984-00-00)
? 2.02.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
? 3.03.13.23.184.108.40.206.7 Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-527-6 (2002-00-00)
? 4.04.14.2 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
? 5.05.15.2 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
? 6.06.16.2 Medicinal Plants of Nepal Dept. of Medicinal Plants. Nepal. (1993-00-00)
? 7.07.17.2 Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2. Thompson and Morgan. (1988-00-00)
? 8.08.18.28.38.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
? 9.09.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
? 10.010.1 [Flora of China] (1994-00-00)
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