Family Name: Araceae
Native to: Tropical and Subtropical Eastern Asia
While the so-called devil’s tongue or voodoo lily is not super-sized like its famed relative, the gigantic Amorphophallus titanum, it is impressive.
The Amorphophallus konjac emits a signature foul stench that is likened to dead rats. The stench is a seductive lure for carrion beetles and flesh flies that pollinate the plant in its native habitat.
The smelly, raw-liver colored “beauty” has been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years. Its starchy corms are processed into both a flour and jelly. In Japanese cuisine, a gelatinous cake called konnyaku is used in dishes such as oden and is also cut into noodle-like strips. A. konjac is often used as a diet food, as it has no calories and is high in fiber. The Japanese have called it “a broom for the intestine.”