Click on the language to view common names.
Common Names in Chinese:
Ri Ben Shu Yu
Common Names in English:
Glutinous Yam, Chinese Yam, Japanese Yam, Taiwanese Yam, Yama-No-Imo
Common Names in French:
Igname Du Japon
Common Names in German:
Bixie, Japanischer Yams
Common Names in Japanese:
Jinenjo, Yama Imo, Yama No Imo, Yama-No-Imo
Common Names in Korean:
or woody vines
, rarely erect
, small herbs. Rootstock
. Stem twining to left or right
, sometimes prickly. Leaves alternate or opposite, petiolate
or palmately compound
, basal veins 3--13, interstitial
veins reticulate; leaflets
of palmately compound leaves often ovate
or lanceolate. Flowers usually unisexual
dioecious, rarely monoecious), sometimes bisexual
, solitary, clustered, or in cymules
, these in a spike, raceme
, or thyrse
, these sometimes grouped into panicles. Male flowers: perianth lobes
6, in 2 whorls, basally connate
; stamens 6, sometimes 3 reduced to staminodes or absent, inserted
on perianth or receptacle; ovary rudimentary
or absent. Female flowers: similar to male ones; staminodes 3, 6, or absent; ovary inferior, 3-loculed, ovules usually 2 per locule (more than 2 in a few small genera), placentation axile
; styles 3, free. Fruit a capsule, berry, or samara. Seeds with a membranous wing
or not; endosperm present; embryo small.
About nine genera and 650 species: widely distributed in tropical and temperate regions , especially in tropical America; one genus and 52 species (21 endemic, two introduced ) in China.
, variable in color, shape
, chemical constituents, and depth in ground
. Bulblets axillary
or absent. Leaves alternate or opposite, petiolate
or palmately compound
, basal veins 3--9. Flowers unisexual
dioecious, rarely monoecious), arranged spirally in axillary, usually elongate
spikes or racemes
, or in small cymules
in ± spikelike thyrses
, these often several together, sometimes gathered into a terminal
or axillary panicle by reduction of subtending
leaves. Male flowers: stamens 6, 3 sometimes reduced to staminodes or absent. Female spikes 3.5--10 cm, few flowered. Female flowers: staminodes 3, 6, or absent. Capsule 3-winged, dehiscent
apically at maturity. Seeds with a membranous wing
More than 600 species: widely distributed in tropical and temperate regions ; 52 species (21 endemic, two introduced ) in China.
Dioscorea is a genus of great economic value, including important food plants. Several species are widely cultivated in many cultivars (including Dioscorea alata D. esculenta D. japonica and D. polystachya), while other, wild species are valuable famine foods. Other species are sources of drugs both in traditional Chinese and Western medicine (notably D. nipponica and D. zingiberensis which are major sources of steroid precursors) .
Species Dioscorea japonica
Tubers vertical , long cylindric , to 3 cm in diam.; cork yellowish brown; transverse section white or yellowish white. Stem twining to right , green, sometimes light purplish red. Bulblets often present. Leaves alternate basally on stem, opposite distally on stem, simple ; petiole 1.5--4(--6) cm; leaf blade drying yellowish green to light brownish, broadly ovate basally on stem, usually triangular-lanceolate to linear distally on stem, 3--12(--19) × 1--6(--18) cm, membranous or papery , glabrous , basal veins 5--9, base sagittate or hastate to cordate or ± truncate , margin entire, apex acute to long acuminate. Male spikes 3--5 together, rarely solitary, ± erect or ascending , 2--8 cm; rachis straight, occasionally slightly zigzagged at apex. Male flowers: perianth greenish white or light yellow, lobes purple spotted, ovate or ovate-elliptic, to 2 × 1.5 mm, inner ones smaller than outer; stamens 6. Female spikes solitary or 2 or 3 together, 6--20 cm. Female flowers: staminodes 6. Capsule not reflexed , pale brown with darker, linear freckles, oblate , 1.5--2(--2.5) cm, base truncate, apex emarginate ; wings 0.7--1.5(--2) cm wide, margin dark. Seeds inserted near middle of capsule, D-shaped, ca. 1.9 cm (ca. 0.7 cm excluding wing), winged all round . Fl. May--Oct, fr. Jul--Nov. [source]
Flowers: Bloom Period: April, May, June, July, August. • Flower Color: inconspicuous, near white, none, white
Size: 8-10' tall.
Culture: Space 12-15" apart.
Soil: Minimum pH: 6.1 • Maximum pH: 8.5
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade.
Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a. (map)
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- (J.d. Hooker, in Le Maout & Decaisne, 1873) Takhtajan, 1997 Ex Reveal & Doweld, 1999
- Order: Dioscoreales () - J.D. Hooker, in Le Maout & Decaisne, 1873
- Superorder: Dioscoreanae () - (J.d. Hooker, in Le Maout & Decaisne, 1873) Takhtajan, 1997 Ex Reveal & Doweld, 1999
- Subclass: Liliidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Publishing author : Thunb. Publication : Nova Acta Regiae Soc. Sci. Upsal. iv . 39 (1783); Thunb. Fl. Jap. 151 (1784).
Members of the genus Dioscorea
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 47 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
D. alata (Purple Yam) · D. altissima (Dunguey) · D. bulbifera (Aerial Yam) · D. bulbifera var. bulbifera (Air Potato) · D. cayenensis (Yellow Guinea Yam) · D. cayennensis (Yellow Guinea Yam) · D. cirrhosa (Dyeing Yam (Philippines)) · D. communis (Lady´s-Seal) · D. composita (Yam) · D. convolvulacea (Yam) · D. cylindrica (Wild Yam) · D. deltoidea (Wild Yam) · D. discolor (Ornamental Yam) · D. dumetorum (Bitter Yam) · D. elephantipes (Elephants Foot) · D. esculenta (Chinese Yam) · D. floribunda (Yam) · D. floridana (Florida Yam) · D. glabra (Chinese Yam) · D. hemicrypta (Dioscorea) · D. hispida (Intoxicating Yam) · D. japonica (Glutinous Yam) · D. kamoonensis (Kamoon Yam) · D. macrostachya (Yam) · D. macrostachys (Elephants Foot) · D. mexicana (Barbasco) · D. nummularia (Yam) · D. oppositifolia (Chinese Wild Yam) · D. pentaphylla (Five-Leaf Yam) · D. pilosiuscula (Bulbous Yam) · D. polygonoides (Mata Gallina) · D. praehensilis (Bush Yam) · D. prazeri (Wild Yam) · D. preussii (Preuss' Dioscorea) · D. purpurea (Podicherry Sweet Potato) · D. quaternata (Fourleaf Wild-Yam) · D. rotundata (Guinea Yam) · D. sagittata (Five-Leaved Yam) · D. sagittifolia (Wild Congo Yam) · D. sansibarensis (Zanzibar Yam) · D. septemloba (Seven-Lobed Yam) · D. spiculiflora (Yam) · D. sylvatica (Wild Yam) · D. tokoro (Mountain Yam) · D. tomentosa (Thorny Yam) · D. trifida (Indian Yam) · D. villosa (Colic Root)
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 13, 2007:
- National Institute of Genetics, ROIS, Herbarium Specimens of Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo Pref., Japan
- Taiwan Biodiversity Information Facility, Magnoliophyta
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2670461
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Kew-240312
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13755149
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:318123-1
- GRIN Nomen Number: 14216
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 506492
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 318123-1
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: DIJA2
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 35667
- Chih-chi Ting & Michael G. Gilbert "Dioscoreaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 276. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- "Dioscorea". in Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 276. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- "Dioscorea japonica". in Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 293. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]