Calathea allouia, also known as sweetcorn root, is native to the tropical regions of the Americas. It has large, elongated leaves with a wavy edge and a green and white striped pattern. The stems are sturdy and upright, growing to a height of around 3-4 feet.
Sweetcorn root prefers well-draining, moist soil and partial to full shade. It is not winter hardy and will need to be brought indoors or protected during colder months. It is a relatively fast-growing plant and can be differentiated from similar plants by its distinctive striped leaves and sturdy stems.
In terms of cultivation, sweetcorn root will need regular watering and fertilizing to ensure healthy growth. It may also benefit from being pruned occasionally to maintain its shape and size.
The root of the sweetcorn plant is edible and can be harvested when the plant reaches maturity. It can be stored by drying and grinding into a powder or by boiling and preserving in syrup. The root can be used in cooking and has a sweet, starchy flavor similar to corn.
In addition to its edible uses, sweetcorn root can also be used medicinally to treat stomach aches and digestive issues. It can also be used as a natural fertilizer, providing essential nutrients to the soil.