Definitions

Dioscorea paniculata

Dioscorea

Dioscorea is a genus of over 600 species of flowering plants in the family Dioscoreaceae, native throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world. The vast majority of the species are tropical, with only a few species extending into temperate climates.

They are tuberous herbaceous perennial lianas, growing to 2-12 m or more tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, mostly broad heart-shaped. The flowers are individually inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, with six petals; they are mostly dioecious, with separate male and female plants, though a few species are monoecious, with male and female flowers on the same plant. The fruit is a capsule in most species, a soft berry in a few species.

Several species, known as yams, are important agricultural crops in tropical regions, grown for their large tubers. Many of these are toxic when fresh, but can be detoxified and eaten, and are particularly important in parts of Africa, Asia, and Oceania (see yam article).

= Selected species

  • Dioscorea japonica
  • Dioscorea kamoonensis
  • Dioscorea linearicordata
  • Dioscorea martini
  • Dioscorea melanophyma Burkill & Prain
  • Dioscorea menglaensis
  • Dioscorea mexicana
  • Dioscorea nipponica
  • Dioscorea nitens
  • Dioscorea opposita
  • Dioscorea panthaica
  • Dioscorea pentaphylla
  • Dioscorea persimilis
  • Dioscorea poilanei
  • Dioscorea polygonoides
  • Dioscorea polystachya Turczaninow
  • Dioscorea preussii
  • Dioscorea quinqueloba
  • Dioscorea rotundata
  • Dioscorea sansibarensis Pax
  • Dioscorea scortechinii
  • Dioscorea simulans
  • Dioscorea sinoparviflora
  • Dioscorea spongiosa
  • Dioscorea subcalva
  • Dioscorea tentaculigera
  • Dioscorea tenuipes
  • Dioscorea tokoro
  • Dioscorea transversa
  • Dioscorea trifida
  • Dioscorea velutipes
  • Dioscorea villosa L.
  • Dioscorea wallichii
  • Dioscorea xizangensis
  • Dioscorea yunnanensis
  • Dioscorea zingiberensis
  • The closely related genus Tamus is included in Dioscorea by some botanists; for Dioscorea communis (L.) Caddick & Wilkin, see Tamus communis .

    References

    See also

    Yams

    External links

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