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The elephant foot yam or whitespot giant arum, is a tropical tuber crop grown primarily in Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the tropical Pacific islands. Because of its production potential and popularity as a vegetable in various cuisines, it can be raised as a cash crop.
Suran, or Elephant yam, is the edible bulb or corm of a very unique looking single-stalked, flowering plant. After a year underground, the corm develops a unique flower with a central flowering stalk encircled by one large, maroon petal and topped with a similarly colored bulbous knob. The stalk can reach up to one meter in height. Once the flower dies, the corm produces one or two tall, green and white spotted stalks topped with several leafy branches. Suran are unearthed once the leaf stalk has died away. The root is round and compressed with a depression on top where the stalk was removed. When harvested, Suran can measure roughly 30 centimeters wide and 20 centimeters tall. A single Suran can weigh as much as 8 pounds, with some tubers weighing almost 30 pounds. Uncultivated Suran may have smaller cormlets attached and may have rootlets growing from its rough surface. The dark brown, almost black skin of the Elephant yam is bark-like but thin enough to be peeled. Its beige colored flesh has a texture like that of a sweet potato, crisp and firm. Suran has an earthy flavor that can also be nutty with a minimal amount of sweetness.