Ethnobotany of suweg, Amorphophallus paeoniifolius: Utilization and cultivation in West Java, Indonesia




Abstract. Mutaqin AZ, Kurniadie D, Iskandar J, Nurzaman M, Partasasmita R. 2020. Ethnobotany of suweg, Amorphophallus paeoniifolius: Utilization and cultivation in West Java, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 21: 1635-1644. Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson, locally known as suweg, is a bulbous plant that has many benefits, but has not been cultivated as intensively as other species from the Araceae family. Suweg grows scattered in various rural areas in Indonesia, including West Java. Some suweg plants are cultivated by villagers, while the others grow wildly in forested areas. Suweg is commonly cultivated in several types of agroecosystems, such as home gardens (pekarangan) and gardens (kebun), using traditional ecological knowledge inherited from generation to generation. This study aims to investigate the utilization and cultivation of suweg by a community in Cisoka Village, Cikijing Sub-district, Majalengka District, West Java. This study used a qualitative method using ethnobotany approach, i.e. an emic analysis of the perception and local knowledge of community on suweg, and then validated using scientific or ethical knowledge. Field data collection was done by observation and semi-structured interviews with key informants chosen purposively considered having expertise and knowledge about suweg. The results showed that suweg has long been cultivated or growing naturally in Cisoka Village. The species has been culturally utilized by the rural community as additional food sources of carbohydrates, fish feed, and traditional ceremonies. However, the use of traditional ceremonies has been lost its importance. Suweg is generally used by the elderly, with certain groups, such as rural fish farmers and some younger age groups or children who like suweg. The rural people of Cisoka Village also mentioned that suweg was not cultivated as intensively as other. This is partly because it is considered not to have a high economic value as other agricultural commodities.


An NT, Thien DT, Dong NT, Dung PL, Du NV. 2010. Characterization of glucomannan from some Amorphophallus species in Vietnam. Carbohydrate Polymers 80: 308-311
Anil SR, Siril EA, Beevy SS. 2011. Morphological variability in 17 wild elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius) collections from southwest India. Genetic Resources Crop Evol 58 (8): 1263-1274
Asih NPS, Kurniawan A. 2019. Bali araceae study: diversity and potential. Widya Biologi, 10 (02): 135-147 [Indonesian]
Ayuningtyas P, Hakim L. 2014. Ethnobotany ceremony for welcoming the month of Sura at the Sebudo Waterfall Nature Tourism Complex, Nganjuk. Biotropika 2 (1): 31-39 [Indonesian]
Balick M, Cox PA. 1997. Plants, people and culture: the science of ethnobotany. Scientific American Libarary, New York.
Berkes F. 2008. Sacred Ecology. Second Edition. Routledge, New York and London.
Blancas J, Casas A, Salicrup DP, Caballero J, Vega E. 2013. Ecological and socio-cultural factors influencing plant management in Nahuatl communities of the Tehuacan Valley, Mexico. J Ethnobio Ethnomed, 9: 1-22
Bradbury JH, Nixon RW. 1998. The acridity of raphides from edible aroids. J Sci Food Agri, 76:608-616
Cahyaningsih R, Siregar HM. 2013. Propagation on suweg (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson) using tuber and rachis cutting manipulated with plant growth regulator. Berita Biologi, 12 (1): 87-95 [Indonesia]
Central Statistics Agency of Majalengka District. 2019. Cikijing district innfigures. Central Statistics Agency of Majalengka District, Majalengka. [Indonesian]
Cikijing District Agricultural Counseling Center. 2019. BPP agriculture counseling program in Cikijing District. Cikijing District Agricultural Counseling Center, Majalengka [Indonesian]
Chairiyah N, Harijati N, dan Mastuti R. 2011. Kristal kalsium oksalat (CaOx) pada porang (Amorphophallus muelleri Blume) yang terpapar dan tidak terpapar matahari. Natural B, 1 (2): 130-138 [Indonesian]
Chairiyah N, Harijati N, dan Mastuti R. 2014. Effect of harvest time on glucomannan content in porang tubers (Amorphophallus muelleri Blume) third growing period. Res J Life Sci, 1 (1): 37-42 [Indonesian]
Chairiyah N, Harijati N, Mastuti R. 2016. Variation of Calcium Oxalate (CaOx) Crystals in Porang Corms (Amorphophallus muelleri Blume) at Different Harvest Time. American J Plant Sci, 7: 306-315
Cisoka Village Government. 2016. Profile of Cisoka Village, Cikijing District, Majalengka District. Cisoka Village Government, Majalengka [Indonesian]
Cotton CM. 1996. Ethnobotany: Principles and Applications. John Willey and Sons.Ltd, England
Cunningham AB. 2001. Applied Ethnobotany: People, World Plant Use & Conservation. Earthscan, London and Sterling
Darmayanti RW. 2015. Content of Crude Fiber and Crude Protein in Taro Leaves which is Fermented with Probiotic as Fish Feed Ingredients. [Skripsi]. Faculty of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya. [Indonesian]
Dharmadasa RM, Akalanka GC, Muthukumarana PRM, Wijesekara RGS. 2016. Ethnopharmacological survey on medicinal plants used in snakebite treatments in Western and Sabaragamuwa Provinces in Sri Lanka. J Ethnopharm 179: 110-127
Darpan, Abdurachman, Soepandi A, Muanas D, Rusyana Y. 2013. Compendium of the term Sundanese traditional farming system. First ed. PT Dunia Pustaka Jaya, Bandung [Indonesian]
De S, Dey YN, Ghosh AK, 2010. Phytochemical investigation and chromatographic evaluation of the different extraxts of tuber of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Araceae). Int J Pharmaceutic Biomed Res 1 (5): 150-157
Dey YN, Wanjari MM, Kumar D, Lomash V, Gaidhanis SND, Jadhav AD. 2017. Oral toxicity of elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius) tuber in mice. J Pharmacy Pharmacog Res, 5 (1): 55-68
Dewi SK, Dwiloka B, Setiani BE. 2017. The reduction of oxalate level in taro tuber with the addition of active carbon using steaming method. J Aplikasi Teknologi Pangan, 6 (2): 1-4 [Indonesian]
Dey YN, Wanjari MM, Kumar D, Lomash V, Gaidhani SN, Jadhav AD. 2017. Oral toxicity of elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius) tuber in mice. J Pharmacy Pharmacog Res, 5 (1): 55-68
Dorothy MS, Raman S, Nautiyal V, Singh K, Yogananda T, Kamei M. 2018. Use of potential plant leaves as ingredient in fish feed-a review. Int J Curr Microbiol App Sci, 7 (7): 112-125
Ellen RF, Harris H. 2000. Introduction. In Ellen RF, Parkes P, Bicker A (eds), Indigenous environmental knowledge and its transformation: critical anthropological perspective. Hardwood Academic Publisher, Amsterdam.
Erskine W, Ximenes A, Glazebrook D, Costa M, Lopes M, Spyckerelle L, Williams R, Nesbitt H. 2015. The role of wild foods in food security: the example of Timor-Leste. Food Security 7 (1): 55-65
European Commission. 2001. Commission Directive 2001/30/EC of 2001, amending directive 96/77/EC laying down specific purity criteria on food additives other than colours and sweeteners. Accessed 30 Nov 2009. Avalilable at
Fauza N. 2010. Traditional Jamasan Heritage Ceremony Terms in the Gajah Mungkur Reservoir Wonogiri (An Ethnolinguistic Study). [Thesis]. Faculty of Literature and Fine Arts Sebelas Maret University Surakarta, Surakarta [Indonesian]
Girardi C, Butaud JF, Ollier C, Ingert N, Weniger B, Raharivelomanana P, Moretti C. 2015. Herbal medicine in the Marquesas Islands. J Ethnopharm 161: 200-213
Hakim L. 2014. Ethnobotany and home garden management: health food security, and agrotourism. Penerbit Selaras, Malang [Indonesian]
Handavu F, Chirwa PWC, Syampungani S. 2019. Social-economic factors influencing land-use and land-cover changes in the miombo woodlands of the Copperbelt Province in Zambia. Forest Policy Economics, 100: 75-94
Hasanah U, Hadi EP, Hidayah HA. 2014. Diversity and uses of tuber as alternative food sources in Bantarkawung Brebes Regency. Biosfera 31 (2): 61-70 [Indonesian]
Hasbullah UHA, Umiyati R. 2017. Differences in physical, chemical, and sensory properties of Suweg tuber flour (Amorphophallus campanulatus BI) in the dormant and vegetative phases. Planta Tropika: J Agrosains 5 (2): 70-78 [Indonesian]
Irwan SNR, Rogomulyo R, and Trisnowati. 2018. Utilization of “pekarangan” through productive landscape development in Mangun Village, Bantul District Yogyakarta. J Ilmu Pertanian Indonesia, 23 (2): 148-157
Iskandar J. 2017. Human ecology and sustainable development. Edition Revision, PSMIL, Unpad [Indonesian].
Iskandar J. 2018. Ethnobiology, ethnoecology, and sustainable development. Plantaxia, Yogyakarta [Indonesian]
Iskandar J, Iskandar BS. 2011. Sundanese agroekosystem. Kiblat, Bandung [Indonesia]
Iskandar J, Iskandar B. S. 2015. Ethnobotanical study on food crop diversity in swidden agroforestry agriculture to support food security of Baduy community. Prosiding Seminar Nasional Masyarakat Biodiversitas Indonesia 1 (6): 1265-1272 [Indonesian]
Iskandar J, Iskandar BS. 2016. Plant architecture: the structure of rural homegarden and the green open space. Teknosain, Yogyakarta [Indonesian].
Iskandar J, Iskandar BS, Partasasmita R. 2016. Responses to environmental and socio-economic changes in the Karangwangi traditional agroforestry system, South Cianjur, West Java. Biodiversitas, 17 (1): 332-341
Iskandar J, Iskandar BS, Partasasmita R. 2018. Review: The impact of social and economic change on domesticated plant diversity with special reference to wet rice filed and home-garaden farming of West Java, Indonesia. Biodiversitas, 19 (2): 502-524
Kumar PRK, Kolli SK, Suneetha J, Hemanth G. 2015. Cultivation of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst) Nicolson (Elephant foot yam) in Kovvur Mandal of West Gidavari District, Andhrapradesh India. Int J Current Res, 7 (5): 15549-15553
Kuamr JS, More SJ, Byju G, Sunitha S, Veena SS, Nedunchezhiyan M, Ravi V. 2019. Effect of new generation herbicides on weed management, corm yield and economics of elephant foot yam [Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson]. Inter J Chem Studies 7(3): 1213-1218
Kusmana C, Hikmat A. 2015. The Biodiversity of flora in Indonesia. J Pengelolaan Sumberdaya Alam dan Lingkungan, 5 (2): 187-198 [Indonesian]
Lewu MN, Adebola PO, Afolayan AJ. 2010. Effect of cooking on the mineral contents and anti-nutritional factors in seven accessions of Colocassia esculenta (L.) Schott growing in South Africa. J Food Composition Analysis, 23: 389-393
Lizarralde M. 2004. Indigenous knowledge and conservation of the rainforest: Ethnobotany of the Bari of Venezuela. In Carlson TJS, Maffi L (eds), Ethnobotany and conservation of biocultural diversity. New York Botanical Garden, New York
Lukitaningsih E, Rumiyati, Puspitasari I. 2012. Study of glicemikc index and macronutrient content from tubers to find alternative functional food. Pharmacon, 13 (1): 18-23 [Indonesian]
Makruf E & Iswadi H. 2015. Information Technology Collection (KIT) for tuber cultivation. Balai Pengkajian Teknologi Pertanian (BPTP) Bengkulu, Bengkulu [Indonesian]
Mandal R, Nag S, Tarafdar J, Mitra S. 2016. A comparison of efficiency parameters of SSR markers genetic diversity analysis in Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson. Brazilian Archives Biol Tech 59: 1-7
Mardiyaningsih DI, Dharmawan AH, Tonny F. 2010. The dynamics of the traditional and modern farmers' livelihood systems in West Java. Sodality, 4 (1): 115-145 [Indonesia]
Maroyi A, Cheikhyoussef A. 2015. A comparative study of medicinal plants used in rural areas of Namibia and Zimbabwe. Indian J Trad Knowledge, 14 (3): 401-406
Martin GJ. 1995. Ethnobotany :A Method Manual. Chapman and Hall, London
Mekkerdchoo O, Borompichaichartkul C, Perrigo AL, Srzednicki G, Prakitchaiwattana C, Antonelli A. 2016. Tracing the evolution and economic potential of konjac glukomannan in Amorphophallus species (Araceae) using moleculer phylogeny and RAPD markers. Phytotaxa, 282 (2): 81-106
Misra, RS, Nedunchezhiyan M, Swamy TMS, Edison S. 2002. Mass multiplication techniques for producing quality planting material of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson (Araceae). Aroideana, 25: 78-87
Molebatsi LY, Siebert SJ, Cilliers SS, Lubbe CS, Davoren E. 2010. The Tswana tshimo: A homegarden system of useful plants with a particular layout and function. African J Agri Res, 5 (21): 2952-2963
Mukherjee A, Banerjee A, Sinhababu A, Singh PP. 2014. The genus Amorphophallus: Cyto-histo-molecular genesis and commercial prospects. Inter J Innovative Horticultur, 3 (1): 13-21
Mustafa B, Hajdari A, Pieroni A, Pulaj B, Koro X, Quave CL. 2015. A cross-cultural comparison of folk plant uses among Albanians, Bosniaks, Gorani, and Turks living in South Kosovo. J Ethnobio Ethnomed, 11 (39): 1-26
Mutaqin AZ, Kurniadie D, Iskandar J, Nurzaman M, and Partasasmita R. 2020. Ethnobotany of suweg (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius): Folk classification, habitat, and traditional conservation in Cisoka Village, Majalengka District, Cimanuk Watershed Region, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 21 (2): 546-555
Mutaqin AZ, FatharaniM, Iskandar J, Partasasmita R. 2018. Utilization of Araceae by local community in Cisoka Village, Cikijing sub-District, Majalengka District, West Java, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 19 (2): 560-571
Narayan A, Prasad R, Singh PP, Singh RS. 2018. Elephant foot yam (AMorphophallus paeoniifolius): money spinning tuber crop for doubling farmers income of Bihar. Int J Curr Microbiol App Sci, 7: 1014-1021
Njurumana G. 2016. Village communities and flora biodiversity management in the yard system in Central Sumba Regency. J Penelitian Kehutanan Wallacea, 5 (1): 25-36 [Indonesian]
Newing H, Eagle CM, Puri RK, Watson CW. 2011. Conducting research in conservation: social science methods and practice. Routledge, London
Oliveira ES, Albuquerque UP, Alves AGC, Ramos MA. 2019. Is local ecological knowledge altered after changes on the way people obtain natural resources? J Arid Environ: 167: 74-79.
Cisoka Village Government. 2016. Profile of Cisoka Village, Cikijing District, Majalengka Regency. Government of Cisoka Village, Majalengka [Indonesia]
Regulation of the Head of the Central Statistics Agency Number 37 of 2010 concerning the classification of urban and rural areas in Indonesia [Indonesia]
Ramanathan R, Bhuvaneswari R, Indhu M, Subramanian G, Dhandapani R. 2014. Survey of ethnobotanical observation on wild tuberous medicinal plants of Kollihills, Namakkal district, Tamilnadu. J Med Plants Stud, 2 (4): 50-58
Ravi V, Ravindran CS, Suja G. 2009. Growth and productivity of elephant foot yam (AMorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson: an overview. J Root Crops, 35 (2): 131-142
Santosa E, Lian CL, Sugiyama N, Misra RS, Boonkorkaew P, Thanomchit K. 2017. Population structure of elephant foot yams (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson) in Asia. Plos One: 1-18
Sekhar L, Thomas CG, Sindhu PV. 2017. Weed management in elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicholson). J Trop Agri, 55 (1): 76-80
Septiani D, Hendrawan Y, Yulianingsih R. 2015. Physical, chemical, and organoleptic characteristics test of suweg (Amorphophallus campanulatus B) flour as an alternative food. J Bioproses Komoditas Tropis 3 (1): 11-18 [Indonesian]
Sillitoe P. 2002. Globalizing Indigenous Knowledge. In Sillitoe P, Bicker A, Pottier J (eds), Participating in development: approaches to indigenous knowledge. Routledge, London and New York.
Singh B, Tham BBT, Rabha NN. 2010. Taxonomical notes on Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson var. campanulatus (Decne) Sivadasan (gigantic flower): a new record for Meghalaya. J Econ Taxon Bot, 34 (3): 492-492
Singh A, Srivastava KC, Banerjee A, Wadhwa N. 2013. Phytochemical analysis of peel of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius. Int J Pharma Bio Sci, 4 (3): 810-815
Singh A, Wadhwa N. 2014. A review on multiple potential of aroid: Amorphophallus paeoniifolius. Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res, 24 (1): 55-60
Singh A, Chaurasiya A, Mitra S. 2016. Assessment of nutritional composition in elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius Dennst. Nicolson) cultivars. Int J Food Stud, 5: 146-157
Singh AK, Chaurasiya AK, Mitra S. 2018. Oxalate content in elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius Dennst-Nicolson) Dry and Fry cubes. J Pharm Phytochem, 7 (2): 2905-2909
Srivastava S, Verma D, Srivastava A, Tiwari SS, Dixit B, Sing RS, Rawat AKS. 2014. Phytochemical and nutritional evaluation of Amorphophallus campanulatus (Roxb.) Blume. J Nut Food Sci, 4 (3): 1-6
Suja G, Sundaresan S, John KS, Sreekumar J, Misra RS. 2012. Higher yield, profit and soil quality from organic farming of elephant foot yam. Agron. Sustain. Dev., 32: 755-764
Sulistiyo RH, Soetopo L, Damanhuri. 2015. Eksploration and identification morphological character of elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus muelleri B.) in East Java. J Produksi Tanaman, 3 (5): 353-361
Sulistyowati PV, Kendarini N, Respatijarti. 2014. Observation the existence of taro plant genus Colocasia and Xanthosoma in Kedungkandang Subdistrict and Ampel Gading Subdistrict, Malang. J Produksi Tanaman, 2 (2): 86-93 [Indonesian]
Tester RF and Al-Ghazzewi FH. 2013. Mannans and health, with a special focus on glucomannans. Food Res Int 50: 384-391
The Drafting Team of the Ministry of National Education. 2011. Big Indonesian dictionary language center. Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Jakarta
Warseno T, Asih NPS, Kurniawan A. 2013. Preservation and use of Araceae species as a Hindu Ceremonial plant at the Bali "Eka Karya" Botanic Garden. Prosiding Seminar Nasional Biodiversitas, 1: 115-121 [Indonesia]
Widari NS, Rasmito A. 2016. Decreased levels of calcium oxalate in the tubers of porang (Amorphophallus oncophyllus) with the heating process in a solution of NaCl. J Teknik Kimia, 13 (1): 1-4 [Indonesia]
Wigna W, Khomsan A. 2011. Local wisdom in food diversification. Pangan, 20 (3): 283-293
Yuzammi, Kurniawan A, Asih NPS, Erlinawati I, Hetterscheid W. 2017. The Amorphophallus of Indonesia. Center for Plant Conservation Botanic Gardens, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Bogor
Yuzammi. 2018. The diversity of aroids (Araceae) in Bogor Botanic Gardens, Indonesia: Collection, conservation and utilization. Biodiversitas 19 (1): 140-152
Zambrana NYP, Leret RC, Bussmann RW, and Macia MJ. 2014. The influence of socioeconomic factors on traditional knowledge: a cross scale comparison of palm use in Northwestern South America. Ecol Society, 19 (4): 9

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 > >>