African Plant Database

Dioscorea abyssinica Hochst. ex Kunth
Protologue : Enum. Pl. (Kunth) 5: 387 (1850) 
Notes : Current in Flora of Ethiopia vol. 6:60. " very close to D. sagittifolia var. lecardii
Information on the genus : Dioscorea
Status for TA : accepted (present)
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Climber with stems 2-5 m long, unarmed, glabrous; tubers deep-set, annual, (edible), cylindrical, to 6x2-3 cm; roots unarmed; leaves usually opposite, cordate to ovate, 4-12x2-6 cm, basal lobes ± rounded, length/width ratio < 1,8, acuminate, 5-7 nerved; male inflorescences of 3-6 spikes, 2-10 cm long, in leaf axils; male flower with suborbicular segments; female inflorescences of 1-2 spikes, 8-15 cm long in leaf axils; perianth 1-1,5 mm long, white or grey, base thickish, not scarious; flower axis stout; capsule as long as wide; seed with wing all round.
Ecology : Woodland or wooded grassland with Combretum, Terminalia, Stereospermum, Oxythenanthera; 1000-1800 m alt. (Ethiopia).
  Perhaps from Senegal to Ethiopia (map in Hamon & al, 1995: 58) but confused in some floras with D. sagittifolia and other species. The relations with D. praehensilis, D. cayenensis and D. liebrechsiana are also not clear.
  The supposed wide distribution area of D. abyssinica needs to be confirmed by further field observations and morphological studies in comparison with the D. cayenensis complex.

Bibliography for Tropical Africa :
  • Cat. Pl. Vasc. Burkina Faso:59 (2012)
  • Darbyshire, I. Kordofami, M. & al. (2015). The plants of Sudan and South Sudan, An annoted checklist. Kew Publishing

Bibliography for Southern Africa :
  • Énum. Pl. Fleurs Afr. Trop. 3: 96 (1995).
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Record n°11242 modified 2007-04-04
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