Herb: Indian Turnip

Latin name: Arisaema quinatum

Synonyms: Arisaema triphyllum quinatum

Family: Araceae (Arum Family)

Edible parts of Indian Turnip:

Root - cooked. It must be well dried or thoroughly cooked before being eaten, see the notes above on toxicity.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Woods and moist rich soils.

Propagation of Indian Turnip:

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 15C. 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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Woods and moist rich soils.

Medicinal use of Indian Turnip:

None known

Known hazards of Arisaema quinatum:

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.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.