Dioscorea hemicrypta - 5 seeds

Dioscorea hemicrypta - 5 seeds


This member of the Dioscoreaceae family was described by Isaac Henry Burkill in 1952. It is found in South Africa, in the Calitzdorp area, growing in well-drained soil with some water and some sun I have never seen it grow on the sunny side; always in the shadows. The caudex can grow up to 50 centimeters in diameter and 1,5-meter height. The vines will reach four meters or more. The flowers are greenish. This is a winter grower.

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Growing Dioscorea elephantipes

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 is water-wise!

Dioscorea 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.