Turtle back - 5 seeds

Turtle back - 5 seeds

6.49

Dioscorea elephantipes is one of the most beautiful, weird and wonderful, caudiciform plants around! It has a deeply fissured surface, resembling an elephant's foot, hence its common name. It makes a most interesting container plant.

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This can be done from seed. Cuttings are not an option. Seeds are produced in September and October of each year (southern hemisphere). The seed capsule must be dry before seed can be collected.

The seeds, which are winged, should be sown in flat seed pans. They should be covered with a sowing medium not deeper than 4-5 cm.

Use sandy loam with very well-rotted compost. Move to a sunny location. Sow the seeds in March or April (southern hemisphere). By April of the following year the plants should be strong enough to be planted in a small plastic pot. Use a 9 cm pot.

The elephant's foot seed starts growing with the swelling of the hypocotyl. By the end of the first year the caudex has grown to approximately 10 mm. After five years the caudex should have reached a size of 120 mm in diameter. Dioscorea elephantipes is water wise!

Dioscorea elephantipes grows easily and rapidly. They are not difficult to cultivate and look after. One golden rule: do not over-water when leaves are absent during its rest period in summer.