Uses

Toxic parts

Edible species of Dioscorea have opposite leaves whilst poisonous species have alternate leaves[1].

Edible uses

Notes

The tubers, vine tips and bulbils (small tuber-like growths on the vine) are edible.

Tuber

Cooked as a Food

Vine tips

Cooked as a Food

Bulbils

Cooked, boiled, steamed as a Food

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Dioscorea japonica.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The tubers are prescribed in the treatment of diarrhoea, enteritis, enuresis and spermatorrhoea[9]. They are also dried and cut into shavings then used as a tonic[9]. The roots of most, if not all, members of this genus, contains diosgenin[10][11]. 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[10].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Climber

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

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[12]. 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[13]. Division in the dormant season, never when in growth[14]. 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 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].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Dioscorea japonica. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

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 at least in the mildest areas 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[15]. Prefers a rich light soil[14]. 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[16].

Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Dioscorea japonica. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Dioscorea japonica.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Dioscorea japonica
Genus
Dioscorea
Family
Dioscoreaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
partial shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    Native Environment
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life [8]
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    white
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Kariyone. T. Atlas of Medicinal Plants. ()
    2. ? Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (32202/01/01)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (32202/01/01)
    4. ? Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (32202/01/01)
    5. ? 5.05.15.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (32202/01/01)
    6. ? Toensmeier, Eric. Perennial Vegetables. Chelsea Green ISBN 978-1-931498-40-1 (2007/01/01)
    7. ? 7.07.17.2 Workman, Dion. [Falling.] Shikigami (2013/07/31)
    8. ? 8.08.18.2 Crawford, Matin Creating a Forest Garden: Working with nature to grow edible crops Green Books ISBN 978-1-900322-62-1 (2010/01/01)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (32202/01/01)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (32202/01/01)
    11. ? Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (32202/01/01)
    12. ? Bird. R. (Editor) Focus on Plants. Volume 5. (formerly 'Growing from seed') Thompson and Morgan. (32202/01/01)
    13. ? Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (32202/01/01)
    14. ? 14.014.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
    15. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
    16. ? Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V. Gardening on Walls Collins ISBN 0-00-219220-0 (32202/01/01)

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