Herb: Green Arrow Arum

Latin name: Peltandra virginica

Synonyms: Arum virginicum, Peltandra undulata

Family: Araceae (Arum Family)

Edible parts of Green Arrow Arum:

Seed - cooked. A slightly sweetish flavour, resembling parched corn. A bread can be made from the dried and powdered seeds, it tastes like corncake with a strong flavour of cocoa. Spadix (the flowering stem) and berries - cooked. A great delicacy, but they must be very well cooked otherwise they are poisonous. The Indians would boil them for 9 hours. Root - must be well cooked in order to destroy an acrimonious principle, see the notes above on toxicity. The root is rich in starch and can weigh up to 2.7 kilos. It is highly astringent and has an unpleasant flavour. The root can be dried and ground into a powder for use when making bread, soups etc.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)


Habitat of the herb:

Swamps, borders of ponds and slow streams.

Propagation of Green Arrow Arum:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in late summer in pots of soil that are submerged to their rims in water. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in trays of water in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer. Stem cuttings rooted in wet mud in the summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Swamps, borders of ponds and slow streams.

Medicinal use of Green Arrow Arum:

None known

Known hazards of Peltandra virginica:

The plant is rich in calcium oxylate, this is toxic and if consumed makes the mouth and digestive tract feel as though hundreds of tiny needles are being stuck into it. However, calcium oxylate is easily destroyed by thoroughly cooking or drying the plant.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.