How to Get Food From a Ti Plant

How to Get Food From a Ti PlantThe Ti plant (Cordyline terminalis), is also known as the Good Luck Plant in Hawaii because it is thought to bring good fortune. If you are hungry in the tropical forest and you happen to find a Ti plant, good fortune has indeed been brought upon you. The Ti plant is a nourishing and palatable food source that is used as a staple food by tropical natives. The plant is native to the Far East and is found in tropical areas throughout the world including Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands and Hawaii.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Identify the Ti plant. The plant has a main stem and no branches. Large green, reddish or pinkish palm tree-shaped leaves grow directly off the main stem. Ti plants can be anywhere from 2 to 15 feet in height. Tall blooms grow in clusters at the top of the plant, blossoming into berries during the summer
Step 2
Harvest food from the Ti plant. The leaves and the large roots are an excellent food source. Pick the smaller, younger leaves off the plant, which are the most tender. The freshly picked leaves have an unpleasant odor. Once cooked, the unfavorable odor disappears, and the end result is a pleasant tasting leafy vegetable. Grab the plant with your hands and pull it out of the ground to gain access to the large roots.
Step 3
Boil the leaves and roots in water until tender. The cooked leaves resemble a leafy vegetable. The cooked roots are starchy and have a sweet, faint licorice flavor.
Step 4
Roast the roots over a campfire or bury the roots under ash to slow roast them until they are tender.
Step 5
Wrap the leaves around other food items and cook them over a fire. Foods cooked inside of the leaves will be moist and tender.

Tips & Warnings

Never eat a plant that you cannot accurately identify. There are numerous plants in the wild that are poisonous.

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

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