Just Dioscorea

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Fri, 02 Jul 2010 07:22:50 PDT
>>I also grow Dioscorea japonica which is even more vigourous.Seed 
>>was obtained from North Green Seeds in England.
>>It has just shot up 3 meters in a few weeks from an established 
>>plant.It was supposed to have wonderful marbled foliage...No score 

Dear Mark and all,
	I have grown a variegated Dioscorea for ages on a large metal 
arbor. Each year it puts out variegated and non-variegated stems. 
When it is well variegated it is super with lots of white splashes on 
every leaf. It produces lots of aerial tubers and these sprout all 
over - some variegated, some not.

	I've taken well variegated small plants , potted them 
carefully and they  produced lush non-variegated growth from them. 
Very frustrating because it is so nicely patterned when it is good, 
but just OK when not. I got my original plant as a gift of several 
small aerial tubers.

	Here's my questions.

	I've never had a species name attached. I just spent a while 
Googling D. japonica at Mark's hint and this looks likely, but 
there's remarkably little info on this or most Dioscorea.  Mark or 
anyone- Can you suggest any good characters to ID this species?

	Each year it grows 15 to 20 feet tall and grabs on the arbor, 
then up into a near by tree. It makes lots of small aerial tubers and 
is a handsome vine. Are these tubers (less than 1 in in diameter) 
edible? I assume that they are NOT EDIBLE when raw, but hardly worth 
collecting and cooking.  I've never dug the underground tubers. Any 
food thoughts in general about Dioscorea?

	I've seen plants of D. batatas (I think it was that species) 
with (relatively) huge aerial tuber up to 6 inches long. How hardy 
are these in northern climates?

	I don't recall  much discussion on this genus or its family 
on this list and only a few (mostly succulent) species are on the 
wiki.  I seem to recall that there are a few grown with ornamental 
foliage, too.

	I'd sure appreciate comments on the genus in general.

		Inquiring minds and all that.		Let's talk 
Dioscorea		Thanks	Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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