African Plant Database

Dioscorea sansibarensis Pax
Protologue : Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 15: 146 (1892)
Information on the genus : Dioscorea
Status for MA : accepted (naturalised)
Status for TA : accepted (present)
Synonym(s) Heterotypic
=Dioscorea macabiha Jum. & H. Perrier (1909)
=Dioscorea macroura Harms (1897)
=Dioscorea welwitschii Rendle (1899)
=Dioscorea toxicaria Bojer (1837)
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Glabrous non-spiny climber to 25-30 m long, stems left-twining, often with axillary bulbils to 5,5 cm Ø often glossy and black, or green (immature) or brown; tuber solitary, perennial, becoming very large with age, depressed globose, flattened below, developing roundish lobes with age, to 50 cm Ø and 22-30 kg in weight; leaves usually opposite; petiole 8-26 cm long; blade heart-shaped, to 20-46x23-58 cm, apex abruptly acuminate 5-20 cm long; blades of young plants variously shaped and lobed; inflorescences pendulous, spicate; male: 1-2 per leaf-axil or forming a terminal leafless panicle; spikes to 50 cm long; capsule glaucous, elongated, 2,5-5 cm x1-2,5 cm Ø; seeds winged at both ends.
Ecology : Fallows; termite mounds; secondary forests; forests sometimes flooded, with Lannea, Pseudospondias; dry forests and thickets; rain-forest; riverine forest; Acacia woodland; coastal evergreen bushland; often close to water; 0-900 m alt.
  The leaves with glands filled with a fluid holding nitrifying bacteria (Burkill, l.c.). The whole plant is very toxic (Choo in Gardenwise 32: 17, 2009).
  S. Tomé; Madagascar, Mauritius (fide Fl. Mascareignes 182, Dioscor.: 2-3, 1978). – In Zimbabwe only in the Zambezi valley. Newly naturalised in Taiwan (Collection Res. 25: 25-29, 2012).
Biol./Eco : Vine, Geophyte; distribution: Comoros, Africa,

Bibliography for Tropical Africa :
  • Kew Bull. 67: 66 (2012)
  • Darbyshire, I. Kordofami, M. & al. (2015). The plants of Sudan and south Sudan, An annoted checklist. Kew Publishing
More info on :
see under Jstor_African Plant Initiative
see under Fgui
see under The International Plant Name Index
see under Catalogue de Madagascar
see under Flora of Mozambique
see under Missouri Botanical Garden
see under Flora of Zimbabwe
see under African Plants - a Photo Guide
carte afrique num 11277
Record n°11277
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