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Dioscorea bulbifera var. bulbifera

Family

Dioscoreaceae

Botanical Name

Dioscorea bulbifera L. var. bulbifera

Prain, D. & Burkill, I.H. (1914) Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal n. ser. 10: 26. Type: ?.

Synonyms

Dioscorea bulbifera L., Species Plantarum 2: 1033(1753), Type: Habitat in Indiis. Dioscorea sativa var. rotunda F.M.Bailey, The Queensland Flora 5: 1615(1902), Type: Wokai, Cooktown, Roth. Dioscorea sativa L., Species Plantarum 2: 1033(1753), Type: Habitat in Indiis.

Common name

Aerial Jam; Jam, Aerial; Air Potatoe; Yam, Round; Potatoe, Air; Round Yam; Cheeky Yam; Yam, Cheeky

Stem

A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm.

Leaves

Leaf blades about 5-22 x 3.8-22 cm. Petioles about 2-12 cm long, thickened, twisted and curved near the base. About 5-7 veins, including the midrib, radiate from the base of the leaf blade. Bulbils about 0.8-1.5 cm diam., often produced on the leafy branches.

Flowers

Inflorescence up to 37 cm long. Male flowers: Flowers small, about 3-4 mm diam., each flower subtended by 2 green leafy bracts, one about 2 mm long, the other narrower and 1 mm long. Sepals about 3 mm long. Petals about 3 mm long. Stamens 6, anthers white. Female flowers: Flowers about 4 mm long. Staminodes 6. Stigma 3-lobed.

Fruit

Capsules 3-winged, about 22-24 x 10-12 mm, each wing containing 2 winged seeds. Seed + wing about 10-15 x 5 mm. Embryo about 1 mm long, located near the end of the seed.

Seedlings

Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and south to coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 800 m. Grows in open forest, wet sclerophyll forests, vine thicket and rain forest. Also found in Africa, Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.

Natural History

This species may be poisonous. Austin, D. F. 1998. Poisonous Plants of Southern Florida. (http://www.fau.edu/divdept/science/envsci/poison- pl.html)

This species may have medicinal properties as well as being poisonous. (http://squid2.laughingsquid.net/hosts/herbweb.com /herbage/A8869.htm)

The leaves and stem of this species are regarded as a contraceptive. Cribb (1981).

WA

X

NT

X

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Slender Vine

X

RFK Code

2643