African Plant Database

Dioscorea sylvatica Eckl.
Protologue : S. African Quart. J. 1: 363 (1830); Britten, J. Bot. 46: 200 (1908)
Information on the genus : Dioscorea
Status for SA : accepted (present)
Status for TA : accepted (present)
Synonym(s) Homotypic
 Dioscorea sylvatica Eckl. var. sylvatica
 Testudinaria sylvatica (Eckl.) Kunth (1850)
Synonym(s) Heterotypic
=Dioscorea junodii Burtt Davy (1924)
=Dioscorea hederifolia Griseb.
=Dioscorea montana (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Spreng.
=Dioscorea montana var. duemmeri R. Knuth
=Dioscorea montana var. sagittata Suess.
=Tamus sylvestris Kunth
=Testudinaria glaucescens Hügel
=Testudinaria rehmannii (Baker) G.D. Rowley
=Testudinaria sylvestris Kunth
=Dioscorea montana Eckl. & Zeyh. ex R. Knuth non Burch. & Spreng.
=Dioscorea montana var. glauca R. Knuth
=Dioscorea montana var. lobata Weim.
=*Testudinaria montana Eckl. & Zeyh.
Taxon infra-specific
Dioscorea sylvatica var. brevipes (Burtt Davy) Burkill
Dioscorea sylvatica var. multiflora (Marloth) Burkill
Dioscorea sylvatica var. paniculata (Dummer) Burkill
Dioscorea sylvatica var. rehmannii (Baker) Burkill
Dioscorea sylvatica Eckl. var. sylvatica
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Vine, left-twining, unarmed, glabrous, to > 4 m long, stems (1 to many) annual from a perennial solitary subterranean tuber to 30 cm Ø, entire to deeply lobed, irregularly ovoid; surface of tuber corky, rough, cracked, sometimes reticulate; stems without bulbils; leaves alternate, entire to 3-lobed, heart-shaped to deltoid; apex triangular, 1-2 mm long; inflorescences racemose; male simple, flowers solitary on pedicels or sometimes in cymose pairs; female to 10 cm long; tepals 1,9-3,2 mm long, spreading; capsule 1,6-2,8x1-2 cm; seeds winged at apex, occasionally with a very narrow basal wing.
Ecology : Often in rocky places, kopjes, in Brachystegia or mopane woodland; sandy soils; termite mounds; disturbed habitats; 0-1800 m alt. – Tolerant of heavy metal-rich soils in Zimbabwe (Great Dyke).
  Very near D. elephantipes (L’Hér.) Engl. in S. Africa, belonging to a distinctive group of Dioscorea described as a genus, Testudinaria; they have subterranean to exposed perennial tubers with thick corky surface and seeds with apical wings.
  Variable species with many varieties described.
  • J. Bot. 46: 200 (1908). 
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    Record n°174994 modified 2009-02-03
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