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Dioscorea tokoro - Makino.

Common Name
Family Dioscoreaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards Edible species of Dioscorea have opposite leaves whilst poisonous species have alternate leaves[174]. The root of this species is said to be poisonous raw.
Habitats Thickets in lowland and foothills all over Japan[58]. Mixed forests, bamboo forests, usually along ravine sides from near sea level to 1,000 metres in China[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Moist Soil Full sun
Dioscorea tokoro


Dioscorea tokoro

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 
Dioscorea tokoro is a PERENNIAL CLIMBER. It is in flower from September to October. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). . The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses:

Tuber - cooked[174, 177]. It should be soaked or boiled in lye before use since it is said to be poisonous raw[174].

Medicinal Uses

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Antirheumatic  Antiseptic  Antitussive  Contraceptive  Miscellany  Resolvent

The roots are antirheumatic, antiseptic, antitussive and contraceptive[176]. They are also used for desensitization. A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism and prostatitis[218]. It is also a resolvent for blood clots[218]. The roots of most, if not all, members of this genus, contains diosgenin[222, 240]. This is widely used in modern medicine in order to manufacture progesterone and other steroid drugs. These are used as contraceptives and in the treatment of various disorders of the genitary organs as well as in a host of other diseases such as asthma and arthritis[222].

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Other Uses

Miscellany

None known

Special Uses

Cultivation details

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Easily grown in a fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position or light shade[200]. Prefers a rich light soil[1]. Plants produce tubercles (small tubers that are formed in the leaf axils of the stems), and can be propagated by this means[K]. A climbing plant that supports itself by twining around the branches of other plants[219]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

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Propagation

Seed - sow March to April in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse and only just cover. It germinates in 1 - 3 weeks at 20°c[175]. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for their first year. Plant out in late spring as the plant comes into new growth. Basal stem cuttings in the summer[37]. Division in the dormant season, never when in growth[1]. The plant will often produce a number of shoots, the top 5 - 10 cm of the root below each shoot can be potted up to form a new plant whilst the lower part of the root can possibly be eaten[K]. Tubercles (baby tubers) are formed in the leaf axils. These are harvested in late summer and early autumn when about the size of a pea and coming away easily from the plant. They should be potted up immediately in individual pots in a greenhouse or cold frame. Plant out in early summer when in active growth[K].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Dioscorea alataWater Yam, Purple yam, Greater yam, White yamPerennial Climber15.0 10-12 FLMHSM410
Dioscorea batatasChinese YamPerennial3.0 4-11  LMHSNM550
Dioscorea bulbiferaAerial Yam, Air PotatoPerennial Climber10.0 9-12 FLMHSNM420
Dioscorea cayennensisYellow Yam, Yellow Guinea yamPerennial Climber10.0 10-12 FLMSNM400
Dioscorea deltoideaYamPerennial Climber3.0 -  LMHSNM22 
Dioscorea esculentaLesser Yam, Potato Yam, Chinese Yam, Wild YamPerennial Climber3.0 8-12 FLMSNM400
Dioscorea japonicaGlutinous Yam, Japanese yamPerennial Climber0.0 0-0  LMHNM42 
Dioscorea kamoonensis Perennial Climber2.5 -  LMHNM21 
Dioscorea trifidaCush Cush Yam, Sweet yamPerennial Climber3.0 10-12 FLMHSNM400
Dioscorea villosaWild YamPerennial Climber3.0 5-9  LMHNM24 
Tamus communisBlack BryonyPerennial Climber3.5 4-8 MLMHSNM12 
Test_20170320_2Aerial Yam, Air PotatoPerennial Climber10.0 0-0 FLMHSNM420

 

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Expert comment

Author

Makino.

Botanical References

58266

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