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Tacca leontopetaloides (L.) Kuntze

Family Name: Dioscoreaceae
Common Name: Indian Arrow Root, Tahiti Arrowroot, Lukeh, Likir, Lukih, Condang, Kacunda, Kecondong, 蒟蒻薯
Semi Shade Moderate Water Native to Singapore Fruit or Vegetable Coastal Plant Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Leaves Herbaceous Plant


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 1 m


Native Distribution Africa, Tropical Asia (including Singapore), Australia, and Pacific Islands
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Coastal Forest), Shoreline (Backshore, Sandy Beach)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a perennial herb consisting of an underground tuber-like stem (rhizome) from which up to 3 long-stalked leaves arise.
Foliage Its many-lobed leaves have leaf blades that are broadly drop-shaped, egg-shaped, or oblong-egg-shaped. Each lobe is up to 70 by 120 cm.
Flowers Its flowering shoot has a long stalk up to about 2 m tall, and bears up to 40 drooping flowers at the top of the stalk. There are about 10, light to dark green, leafy bracts, and many purple or dark blackish-brown, thread-like bracts that are found close to the flowers.
Fruits Its fruits are mostly round berries, up to 3.5 by 1.5–2.5 cm, pale orange when mature, and contain many seeds. Its ribbed seeds are yellowish-brown, flat, round, and 3–5 mm wide. Its seeds are also covered by a white, spongy covering.
Habitat It grows in coastal vegetation, and on sandy beaches, usually below 200 m altitude. It occurs locally in Pulau Pawai and Pulau Semakau.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are insect-pollinated. 
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed or tubers.
Etymology Latin tacca, from the Indonesian name, taka; Latin leontopetaloides, with petals similar to that of a lion
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Stems)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The tubers are edible after proper cooking, and are a good source of starch.)
[Others]: The plant is cultivated as an ornamental shrub for its leaves and attractive flowering shoot. The stems are used to manufacture hats as they make good braiding material. 

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for coastal parks or sunny spots with sandy, well-draining soils.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits, Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray
Landscape Uses Coastal, Parks & Gardens, Beachfront / Shoreline

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed, Storage Organ


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Margin Palmately Lobed
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Stem Tuber)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Green
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Orange
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Non-Accessory Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 1198
Species ID 2491
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 29 November 2022.