arrowroot

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arrowroot,

any plant of the genus Maranta, usually large perennial herbs, of the family Marantaceae, found chiefly in warm, swampy forest habitats of the Americas and sometimes cultivated for their ornamental leaves. The term arrowroot is also used for the easily digestible starch obtained from the rhizomes of M. arundinacea, the true, or West Indian, arrowroot, which is naturalized in Florida. Other plants produce similar starches, e.g., East Indian arrowroot (from Curcuma angustifolia of the Zingiberaceae, or gingerginger,
common name for members of the Zingiberaceae, a family of tropical and subtropical perennial herbs, chiefly of Indomalaysia. The aromatic oils of many are used in making condiments, perfumes, and medicines, especially stimulants and preparations to ease stomach distress.
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 family), Queensland arrowroot (from a cannacanna
[Lat.,=cane], any plant of the genus Canna, tropical and subtropical perennials, grown in temperate regions in parks and gardens for the large foliage and spikelike, usually red or yellow blossoms.
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 of the family Cannaceae), Brazilian arrowroot, or tapiocatapioca
, widely used starchy food, obtained from the fleshy root of the bitter cassava. Tapioca is sold in flake or flour form and as the pellet pearl tapioca. Tapioca flour is widely used in place of wheat flour in regions where it is grown, e.g.
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, of the Euphorbiaceae (spurgespurge
, common name for members of the Euphorbiaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and trees of greatly varied structure and almost cosmopolitan distribution, although most species are tropical. In the United States the family is most common in the Southeast.
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 family), and Florida arrowroot, or sagosago
[Malay], edible starch extracted from the pithlike center of several E Asian palms (chiefly Metroxylon sagu) or sometimes of cycads. The starch is an important item in the diet in some parts of E Asia and is exported for use in foods (e.g.
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. True arrowroot is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Zingiberales, family Marantaceae.

arrowroot

[′ar·ō‚rüt]
(botany)
Any of the tropical American plants belonging to the genus Maranta in the family Marantaceae.

arrowroot

1. a white-flowered West Indian plant, Maranta arundinacea, whose rhizomes yield an easily digestible starch: family Marantaceae
2. any of several other plants whose rhizomes or roots yield starch