Dioscorea elephantipes

Dioscorea elephantipes (Elephant's foot or Hottentot bread; syn. Testudinaria elephantipes), is a tuberous vining flowering plant in the genus Dioscorea, native to southwest South Africa, including the Cape of Good Hope.

It takes the name elephant's foot from the appearance of its large tuberous stem, which grows very slowly but often reaches a considerable size, often more than 3 m in circumference with a height of nearly 1 m above ground. It is rich in starch, whence the name Hottentot bread, and is covered on the outside with thick, hard, corky plates. It develops slender, leafy, climbing shoots which die down each season.


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