Spear-Leaved Yam
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Spear-Leaved Yam
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Spear-Leaved Yam • Bengali: chupri alu • Hindi: तुरर turar • Kannada: kadu genasu • Marathi: जंगली मटोळ jangli matol • Sanskrit: शङ्खालुका sankhaluka
Botanical name: Dioscorea belophylla    Family: Dioscoreaceae (Yam family)
Synonyms: Dioscorea glabra

Spear-Leaved Yam is a climber with small tubers. Stems are hairless, twining anticlockwise. Leaves are usually opposite, simple, 7.5-13 cm. long, 2-9 cm broad, variable, ovate, heart-shaped or arrowshaped with round basal lobes or triangular, long-pointed, hairless, 9-nerved. Leaf stalk is 6.5 cm long. Male flower spikes are 2.5-4 cm long, 1-2 together in the axils or sometimes forming leafless panicles. Stamens are 6. Female flower spikes are 5.5-12 cm long, solitary or 2 together, arising in leaf axils. Capsule is 2 cm long, 3 cm broad, obovate with a rounded or inverted heart-shaped tip. Flowering: July-October.

Identification credit: Satish Pardeshi
Photographed at Prabal Machi, near Panvel, Maharashtra.
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