FoI
Kumaon Yam   
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Kumaon Yam
ative
Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Kumaon Yam
Botanical name: Dioscorea kamoonensis    Family: Dioscoreaceae (Yam family)
Synonyms: Dioscorea subfusca

Kumaon Yam is a Dioscorea species with tubers usually subovoid and roots fibrous. Stem are twining to left, brown hairy when young, becoming hairless. Leaves are alternate, palmately 3- or 5-foliolate. Leaf-stalks are 2-10 cm long, very rarely softly prickly at base. Leaflets are obovate- or lanceolate-elliptic to elliptic, 2-14 x 1-5 cm, densely to sparsely hairy, sometimes, pinnately veined, base attenuate into indistinct stalk, margin entire, tip long-pointed, lateral leaflets slightly smaller than middle one, oblique. Male flower-spikes or racemes re solitary or 2 or 3 together, rarely branched, dense, to 7 cm, rarely forming axillary panicles to 8 cm. Male flowers are solitary, flower-stalk 0.5--1.5 mm; bract and bracteole similar, triangular-ovate, 2--3.5 mm, exceeding perianth and forming an involucel around it, densely brown or light yellow puberulent, apex long acuminate; perianth lobes 1.5--2.5 mm, densely brown or light yellow appressed puberulent below. Stamens are 3. Female spikes are solitary or paired, rarely 3 together, to 24 cm. Capsule are oblong to oblong-oblanceolate, 1.5--2(--2.4) cm, puberulent; wings 0.5--0.6(--0.75) cm wide. Seeds inserted near apex of capsule; wing pointing toward capsule base. Flowerubg: July-September. Kumaon Yam is found inthe Himalayas, from Kumaun to Sikkim, Burma, N. Thailand, Indo-China, S.W. China, at altitudes of 1800-2200 m.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal
Photographed in Sirmaur Distt, Himachal Pradesh.
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