Previous plant

Dioscorea basiclavicaulis

Next plant

Photo by Marlon Machado.

A small plant, photo by Enrico Santimaria.

Photo by Enrico Santimaria.

Dormant. Photo by Alain Christophen.

Author:  C.T. Rizzini & A. de Mattos-Filho, 1986
Origin:  NE Brazil
Soil:  Mix
Water:  Medium
Sun:  Medium
Thickness:  15 Centimetres
Height:  15 Meters
Flower:  Greenish
Propagate:  Seeds/Cuttings
Names:  -
Synonyms:  -

This member of the Dioscoreaceae family was described by Carlos Toledo Rizzini and Armando de Mattos-Filho in 1986. It id found in the drier, seasonally deciduous forests found inland in the state of Bahia, north-eastern Brazil. The greenish flowers are eight to ten millimetres.

Marlon Machado from University of Zurich have been kind enough to share his observations and knowledge: "I have seen this species in the field in a number of places in the state of Bahia, Brazil. I often found it growing in forests, not evergreen rainforest of the coast but the drier, seasonally deciduous forests found further inland. The plants develop very long vines, that climb up the trees until the canopy of the forest. The plants develops many stems that are thick and spiny at the base, the shape varying from fusiform (spindle-shaped, broadest at the middle and tapering at both ends) to more often obclavate (club-shaped with the broad end at the base), up to 15 centimetres in diameter.

The thick portion of the stems can be up to one meter long, then it tapers to a vine. I also have found this species growing in more exposed places. Then it gets more compact, with shorter thickened bases of the stems.

Below ground, the plants develops several tuberous roots, like potatoes. There is not a single large caudex like some other Dioscorea species, and these tuberous roots are best left in the soil.

Dioscorea is named after Pedianos Dioscorides, a Greek physician if the 1st century A.D. The species name basiclavicaulis is a reference to this shape: Stem (caulis) with base (basi) like a club (clavi).

Photo by Marlon Machado. 

Photo by Enrico Santimaria.