Prospects of Domestication of Polynesian Arrowroot (Tacca leontopetaloides L.) in Nigeria

  • C. O. Amadi
  • O. A. Olojede
  • A. Ironkwe
  • C. N. Ebeniro
  • C. C. Nwokocha
  • G. Amadi
Keywords: Polynesian Arrowroot, ‘Amora’, Domestication, Starch, Tacca leontopetaloides


Polynesian Arrowroot (Tacca leontopetaloides (L.) Kuntze), popularly known as Gbache, Amora or Aduro susun by some ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, is a tuber bearing perennial herb that grows in the wild as solitary plants in open fields, under tree shades or on hilltops across the tropical rainforest and guinea savannah agro-ecologies of the country. Starch extracted from the tubers are used to prepare different local delicacies by some indigenous people of north-central Nigeria. It also has pharmaceutical, medicinal, and sundry applications. In recent years, the plant population in the wild has dwindled probably due to increasing use of herbicides, urbanization and climate change. This coupled with the increasing recognition of the industrial quality of its starch have brought to the fore the need to domesticate the plant. This paper reviews the prospect of domesticating the crop, highlighting its usefulness, geographical distribution, folk biology, morphology, propagation, tuber storage and starch extraction, and nutritional qualities that can be harnessed towards its domestication. The implications of some morphological attributes of the crop on its domestication were also discussed.


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eISSN: 0300-368X