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Scale bar 10mm. Copyright CSIRO

Dioscorea alata

Family

Dioscoreaceae

Botanical Name

Dioscorea alata L.

Linnaeus, C. von (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 1033. Type: Habitat in Indiis.

Common name

Greater Yam

Weed

*

Stem

A vigorous multistemmed vine but stem diameters not exceeding 2 cm.

Leaves

Leaf blades about 7-13 x 4.5-12 cm, petioles about 4.5-12 cm long, longitudinally ribbed. Usually 5-7 veins, including the midrib, radiating from the base of the leaf blade. Younger twigs usually have 4 wavy longitudinal wings. Wings resembling stipules, usually present at the base of the petiole and decurrent (running down the twigs). A single wing on each of the major veins on the underside of the leaf blade.

Seedlings

Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from SE Asia and Malesia, now naturalized in CYP and NEQ and perhaps other places in Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 100 m. Grows in disturbed areas in lowland rain forest. Also naturalized on some of the Pacific Islands.

Natural History

This species produces both small aerial yams or bulbils and large subterranean yams, often quite contorted.

This species may have medicinal properties. (http://squid2.laughingsquid.net/hosts/herbweb.com /herbage/A8867.htm)

NEQ

X

Slender Vine

X

RFK Code

2550