White Arrowroot
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Jeanette
Posted on: October 31, 2005

Do you know anything about white arrowroot?

I do not know what "white arrowroot" is. There are several plants known by the name "arrowroot" but I could not find any reference to the one you are asking about.

Here is a list of arrowroots that I found during a brief look in our herbal library at Richters:

West Indian arrowroot = Maranta arundinacea

East Indian arrowroot, also known as Polynesian arrowroot, Fiji arrowroot, Tahiti arrowroot, South Seas arrowroot = Tacca leontopetaloides

Florida arrowroot = Zamia floridana

Queensland arrowroot = Canna edulis

East Indian arrowroot = Curcuma angustifolia

Japanese arrowroot = Pueraria lobata (syn. P. thunbergiana)

While all varieties are sources of starch, Maranta arundinacea is the most important source of arrowroot starch used in food. However, Stephen Facciola writes in his book "Cornucopia: A Source Book of Edible Plantss" (Kampong Publications, 1980) that cassava (Maranta esculenta), one of the world’s most important tropical food plants and the source of tapioca, is also a source of arrowroot starch.

Any one of these varieties could be the "white arrowroot" you are asking about because the extracted starch is white.

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