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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Dioscoreaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > [[{{{genus}}}]] {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} {{{species}}} {{{subspecies}}} var. {{{cultivar}}}

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Dioscoreaceae (from the genus Dioscorea, named in honor of Dioscorides). Yam Family. Fig. 12. Climbing or twining herbs or shrubs: leaves alternate, mostly arrowhead-shaped: flowers bisexual or unisexual, regular, small, and inconspicuous; perianth of 6 similar parts, in 2 series; stamens usually 6, or the 3 inner staminodia; ovary inferior, 3-celled, rarely 1- celled; placentae axile or parietal; ovules 2 in each cell, superposed, anatropous; stigmas 3, or each 2-parted: fruit a capsule or berry; seed albuminous.

Nine genera and about 170 species, of which 150 belong to the genus Dioscorea, are distributed very generally in the tropics and in the subtropics, and extend sparingly into the north temperate zone. They are most abundant in South America and the West Indies. One species reaches north to southern New England. The family is related to the Amaryllidaceae and Liliaceae. The climbing habit, peculiar leaves, definite stamens, inferior 3-celled ovary, and 2 albuminous seeds are distinctive. Most Dioscoriaceae spring from a tuberous base, which is sometimes very large and conspicuous. Odd tubers are borne in the leaf-axils of species of Dioscorea and Rajania.

The tuberous root of Dioscorea Batatas yields the yams of eastern commerce, a very important article of food in the Far East. Those of several other species, including our own native D. villosa, are also cultivated in various parts of the tropics. The leaves of some species are used in intermittent fevers. The tubers of Tamus communis were formerly employed as a purgative, and were also applied to bruises, hence the name "beaten woman's herb." The shoots are eaten like asparagus.

Two genera are in cultivation in the United States, mostly in the South: Dioscorea (Yam, Chinese Potato, Cinnamon Vine, Air Potato); Testudinaria (Hottentot's Bread, Tortoise Plant, Elephant's Foot), rarely grown.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



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