Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Dioscorea quaternata (Walter) J.F. Gmel.
- Family: Yam (Dioscoreaceae)
- Flowering: May-June
- Field Marks: This vine has some or all its leaves in clusters of 4. The dry fruits are winged and
up to 1 1/2 inches long.
- Habitat: Rich woods, thickets, bottomland terraces, river banks, swamps.
- Habit: Upright or twining perennial vine from a thickened root.
- Stems: Upright or twining, slender, smooth, up to 10 feet long.
- Leaves: At least the lower ones in groups of 4-7, simple, ovate, pointed at the tip, heart-shaped
at the base, smooth or slightly hairy below, often paler on the lower surface, with net venation
and prominent curved venation, up to 6 inches long, up to 4 inches wide.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne on different plants; male flowers in slender, axillary
panicles; female flowers 3-10 in a cluster.
- Sepals: 6, united below, about 1/12 inch long, greenish yellow.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3 or 6.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior; styles 3.
- Fruits: Capsules ellipsoid to obovoid, up to 1 1/2 inches long, 3-winged; seeds about 3/4 inch
- Notes: This species is closely related to the cultivated yam.
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