Dioscorea sp.

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Name and publication

Dioscorea sp.


Sold as “shiny wings” in the potpourri trade, these fruits are definitely from a species of Dioscorea; D. alata L. and D. exalata L. compare favorably but the vegetative material would be required for a definitive identification. The capsules are oblate, sometimes subcordate, 1.5-2 cm long with three papery wings 1.5-1.7 cm wide, seeds inserted near the middle of the capsule. Broken pieces of the capsule may resemble hearts or half-hearts.

Nativity and distribution

Dioscorea alata is native to Southeast Asia but is now cultivated pantropically. Dioscorea exalata is found in China, Thailand, and Vietnam.