This beautiful Dioscorea plant is found in the Clanwilliam district, as well as on the desert mountain slopes of the Graaff-Reinet, Klipplaat, Willowmore and Uniondale districts. It is possible that Dioscorea elephantipes also grows in the Tanqua Karoo and elsewhere.
Dioscorea elephantipes in cultivation.
Dioscorea elephantipes is somewhat similar to Dioscorea hemicrypta from the Western - and Eastern Cape, but often has a neater appearance. The bark of elephantipes is also usually more deeply fissured, the plant body somewhat ovoid shaped and the leaves more fleshy.
Dioscorea elephantipes, similar to hemicrypta lose their leaves during the hot summer months.
Common names include Yam, Wild Yam, Elephant's Foot, Turtle Back, Hottentot's Bread