Maranta arundinacea Linn. Scitamineae. Arrowroot.
South America. This is the true arrowroot plant of the West Indies, Florida, Mexico and Brazil. It furnishes Cape Colony and Natal arrowroot and Queensland arrowroot in part. It is also cultivated in India, where it was introduced about 1840. In 1849, arrowroot was grown on an experimental scale in Mississippi, and in 1858 it was grown as a staple crop at St. Marys, Georgia. The plant is stated to have been carried from the island of Dominica to Barbados and thence to Jamaica. The starch made from the root is mentioned by Hughes, 1751, and the mode of preparing it is described by Browne, 1789. The Bermuda arrowroot is now most esteemed but it is cultivated in the East Indies, Sierra Leone and South Africa as well. Wilkes found the natives of Fiji making use of arrowroot from the wild plant.