These are interesting, evergreen, perennial and herbaceous plants that grow wild in many tropical climates. They can be grown in humid, tropical greenhouses. The plant contains a lot of starch in its rhizomes, which, when extracted and prepared for food, is called East Indian Arrowroot or South Sea Arrowroot. The kinds in cultivation have creeping rhizomes or rootstocks and large, oval, crinkly foliage. The greenish flowers are produced in bunches atop long stems, 18 to 24 inches high. Long whiskers are suspended from the lovely flowers.