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This species is accepted, and its native range is E. Madagascar.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium


Wilkin, P., Andrianantenaina, W.P. et al. (2008). The species of Dioscorea L. (Dioscoreaceae) from Madagascar with campanulate tori, including a new species from Eastern Madagascar. Kew Bulletin 63: 583.

Least Concern (LC) (IUCN 2001).
Eastern Madagascar, from Vangaindrano to Vohemar and in the Réserve Speciale de Manongarivo in the north west.
Humid forests, probably in light gaps and on stream banks; 0 – c. 1500 m a.s.l. This species appears to be able to tolerate significant disturbance and can be encountered in degraded forest and even Eucalyptus plantations.
Morphology General Habit
A twining vine to c. 10 m, stems annual from a fleshy tuber
Morphology General Indumentum
Indumentum present around nodes and on axillary buds, sometimes also present at petiole apex and often on inflorescences, especially before anthesis, hairs simple, unmodified, colourless, 0.1 – 0.3 mm long
Morphology Leaves
Leaves alternate, blade 1.8 – 14.5 (– 25.4) × 1.4 – 8.8 (– 12.2) cm, (width through point of petiole insertion, widest point at basal lobe tips), shape variable, especially base, main part of blade narrowly lanceolate to ovate, usually narrow and small in fertile shoot leaves, leaves occasionally absent towards fertile shoot tips, chartaceous, mid green above, paler below, margins entire towards apex, base with a broad and shallow to deep sinus, base margins sometimes shallowly lobed, in vegetative shoot leaves often hastate or auriculate, in fertile shoot leaves cordate to auriculate, rarely truncate to rounded, sinus (0 –) 3 – 38 (– 66) mm deep, apex usually narrowing gradually to an acumen not always clearly separated from blade, 3 – 17 mm long, forerunner tip 0.8 – 4.2 mm long, brown but not always clearly differentiated, veins (3 –) 5 to the apex, with a smaller bifid pair to the base, sometimes in grooves on upper surface, prominent on lower, petiole 8 – 65 (– 85) mm long, colour as stem, basal and apical pulvinii darker, terete but channelled on upper surface, lateral nodal spines (“stipules” of Burkill (1960) present, two firm, recurved spines to c. 4 mm long on each side of the amplexicaul petiole base; a few small cataphylls present towards stem base, to 5 mm long, ovate, acuminate, dry and rigid, base clasping stem; bulbils not present
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Male flowers probably mostly purple, scent not recorded, flowers pedicellate, pedicels 1.2 – 3 × (0.3 –) 0.4 – 1 mm, at c. 30° – 60° to axis at anthesis and flowers facing downwards, slender at base but narrowly obdeltoid in outline and broadest at apex, ridged, each pedicel with an ovate to elliptic, acuminate, membranous basal floral bract and smaller bracteole of the same shape and texture; tepals 6, in 2 weakly differentiated whorls (inner whorl slightly broader and shorter than outer), inserted on a cup-shaped torus, 0.7 – 1.1 × 0.7 – 1.3 mm, not or only slightly constricted at its apex, tepals free or fused at extreme base only, thinly chartaceous, reflexed at anthesis, outer tepals 0.9 – 2.0 × 0.7 – 1.2 mm, ovate to elliptic, apex obtuse to rounded, inner tepals 0.8 – 1.7 × 0.6 – 1.4 mm, broadly ovate to broadly elliptic, apex obtuse to acute or rarely apiculate; filaments 0.4 – 1.1 mm long, inserted towards torus base, filiform, free and at the base inclining away from torus rim towards centre of flower, above coherent and forming a short column, extreme apices free and divergent, anthers held erect to ascending at first, later spreading, in a dense ring exserted from the torus, dorsifixed, anthers 0.15 – 0.4 × 0.1 – 0.3 mm, yellow; pistillode c. 0.15 – 0.55 × 0.3 mm, conical, fleshy Female flowers (limited specimens available) scent and colour not recorded; floral bract 0.9 – 1.6 × 0.6 – 1.0 mm, inserted at pedicel base, elliptic to broadly ovate, membranous, apex long-acuminate, bracteole like bract but smaller, sometimes inserted above pedicel apex, pedicel stout, terete, 1.3 – 2.4 mm long, thicker than in male flower; ovary c. 5.5 – 8.2 mm long, 3-angled, narrowly oblong-elliptic to narrowly elliptic in outline, narrowed at the apex into a stout floral stipe bearing torus; tepal whorls weakly differentiated into 2 whorls of 3, tepals recurved when flower receptive, thinly chartaceous, inserted on torus margin, membranous, free, apex obtuse to rounded, outer whorl 1.0 – 1.7 × 0.7 – 1.2 mm, ovate to oblong-elliptic, inner whorl 1.2 – 1.7 × 0.6 – 1.3 mm, ovate to oblong, inserted on campanulate torus 0.7 – 0.9 × 0.9 – 1.2 mm, apex not constricted, thicker in texture than tepals; staminodia 6, 0.3 – 0.7 mm long, staminiform, in 2 whorls inserted around the outside of the torus base; styles/stigmas 3, fused from at base only to about 1/2 of their length, 0.5 – 0.8 mm long, ascending and divergent, stigmatic surfaces bifid, recurved to form a T-shape, each lobe lanceolate-acuminate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 25 – 44 × 14 – 23 mm, ascending at c. 30° to axis at dehiscence on a recurved, clavate in outline, 3-angled, 2.5 – 5.5 mm long, pedicel, oblong in outline, not broadening towards apex, base truncate to retuse, apex truncate to acute, styles persistent as an apiculus on each lobe of capsule, apical part only opening to expose seed, wing basal and therefore concealed, pale brown with darker margins and flecking, thin-walled
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences 1 per axil, simple, racemose, pendent, axes ridged and angled Male inflorescences on terminal fertile shoots, some leafless branches may be encountered with the appearance of compound inflorescences; axis 2.8 – 14.8 cm long (including 0.7 – 2.9 cm long peduncle), (0.35 –) 0.5 – 1.6 (– 2.6) mm wide, ridged and flattened towards base, in fertile part winged between each node, flowers solitary Female inflorescences to c. 50 cm × 0.5 – 1.8 (– 2.2) mm, flowers c. 1 cm apart, spreading
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seed winged at base only, 6.3 – 9.7 × 4.6 – 5.9 mm excluding wing, ovoid-reniform and slightly lenticular, dark brown, wing 19 – 22 × 9 – 10 mm, oblong, apex obtuse to rounded, chestnut brown, membranous.
Morphology Stem
Stems left-twining, to at least 6 mm in diam., terete sometimes longitudinally ridged when dry, unarmed, green to purple
The plants photographed on the “Oviala” project website ( under the vernacular name Vorozy appear to belong to this species and/or D. madecassa. The lectotype specimen of Dioscorea seriflora has a collection date, and is more complete and representative material of the male plant than Perrier 8207, the other syntype. The lectotype specimen of D. ovifotsy H. Perrier was selected because it is more representative of the species as a whole and distributed to a second herbarium, while Perrier 8242 is only at P and sterile. The male sheet with the greatest amount of plant material at P is the lectotype, and all others are isolectotypes. Boivin s.n. (March 1851) and Perrier 8242 and 15425 are probably D. seriflora, but it is not possible to be certain because they are sterile. The specimen d’Aleizette s.n. at P, which according to the label was collected at Beforona in eastern Madagascar in November 1906, may belong to this species but is atypical in that it has mostly paired flowers.
Madagascar, Antsiranana Prefecture, Sambirano, Massif de Manongarivo, base du Mont Bekolosy, ♂ fl. March 1909, Perrier 8243 (lectotype P!, selected here; isolectotype B!).
Vegetative Multiplication Tubers
Tubers 2, 1 per growing season, buried to c. 1 m deep, narrowly claviform, to c. 1 m × 1 cm in diam. at crown and 8 cm in diam. towards apex, (probably much smaller and more shallowly buried when young) orbicular to elliptic in cross-section, lobed or branched, periderm pale brown to pink-hued or white, parenchyma white
Ovifotsy, Banabana, Ovisofina (all Sakalava, Manongarivo, Ovifotsy also Betsimisaraka, Beforona), Ovimanga (Merina, Anjozorobe), Oviala (Betsileo, Ambohimasoa and Ambositra), Ovisotry (Betsileo, Ambohimahasoa), Ovisera (Antaifasy, Manombo).

Tuber edible (cooked).

Native to:


Dioscorea seriflora Jum. & H.Perrier appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Nov 13, 2012 Ralimanana [RLI 1202a], Madagascar K000312492
Jun 23, 2005 Andrianantenaina, W. [AWP 70], Madagascar K001171838
Perrier de la Bâthie, J.M.H.A. [14048], Madagascar K000098964 isosyntype
Perrier de la Bâthie, J.M.H.A. [14048], Madagascar K000099025 isotype
Perrier de la Bâthie, J.M.H.A. [14048], Madagascar K000099026 isotype
Perrier de la Bâthie, J.M.H.A. [8207], Madagascar K000099034 isosyntype
Wohlhauser, S. [SW60245], Madagascar K000383766
Hladik, A. [6649], Madagascar K000523546
Hladik, A. [6782], Madagascar K000523547
Rajaonah, M.T. [MT 307], Madagascar K001148412
Wilkin, P. [1626], Madagascar K001171851
Rajaonah, M.T. [MT 299], Madagascar K001148410
Faranirina, L. [R10 02], Madagascar K001171842
Hladik, A. [6784], Madagascar K000523548
Wohlhauser, S. [SW60211], Madagascar K000383765
Ranarivelo, T. [RTI 772], Madagascar K001171853
Faranirina, L. [01], Madagascar K001171843
Ravelonarivo, D. [160], Madagascar K001171848
Andrianantenaina, W. [AWP 93], Madagascar K001171837
Andrianantenaina, W. [AWP 156], Madagascar K001171839
Rajaonah, M.T. [MT 307], Madagascar K001148411
Cours, G. [627], Madagascar K000383764
Ramampiandra, N. [RN 108], Madagascar K001171846
Wilkin, P. [1625], Madagascar K001171841
Ranirison, P. [PR 714], Madagascar K000523550
Ramampiandra, N. [RN 101], Madagascar K001171852
Andianantenaina, W. [AWP 189], Madagascar K001171844
Ravelonarivo, D. [159], Madagascar K001171849
Andrianatenaina, W. [AWP 155], Madagascar K001171840
Ramampiandra, N. [RN 115], Madagascar K001171847
Ranarivelo, T. [RTI 776], Madagascar K001171845
Hladik, A. [6784], Madagascar K000523549
Ramampiandra, N. [RN 049], Madagascar K001171850

First published in Ann. Mus. Colon. Marseille, sér. 2, 8: 161 (1910)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (2000). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS D: 1-30141.
  • Govaerts, R., Wilkin, P. & Saunders, R.M.K. (2007). World Checklist of Dioscoreales. Yams and their allies: 1-65. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Wilkin, P., Andrianantenaina, W.P., Jeannoda, V. & Hladik, A. (2008 publ. 2009). The species of Dioscorea L. (Dioscoreaceae) from Madagascar with campanulate tori, including a new species from Eastern Madagascar Kew Bulletin 63: 583-600.

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Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.