Much grown from Indonesia to Japan for edible corms.
Tuber about 10 in. across, flattish round. l. stalk 15 to 30 in. long, brownish green spotted white; blade large, 3-sect, ultimate segs. oblong-elliptic, cuspidate. Peduncle 2 ft. long. Spathe 8-12" long, ovate, tube about 3" long, pale green with greenish white spots, margin purplish, blade 8" long, wide roundish-cordate, acute, green without, dark purple within, margin undulate.
It is very popular in Japan as a cooking supplement for soups and stew-like dishes. The tuber are raised and then cooked (usually cooking is also done on a commercial basis) or reduced to a substance somewhat stiffer than gelatin. The resultant material is pressed into blocks and sold like tofu in the grocery stores. The Japanese pronounce it cone-yuk. The name Amorphophallus is not generally associated with the product to the lay person.
The main substance in konjac is called Glucomannan which has a low caloric content but is rich in dietary fiber. Clinical study indicates the Glucomannan may be responsible for weight reduction and reducing cholesterol in those who have high cholesterol. It is eaten in Japan to clean the digestive tract of toxins.
data regenerated on Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:16:17 -0400