Dioscorea transversa

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dioscoria transversa
Pencil yam
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Dioscoreales
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Dioscorea
Species: D. transversa
Binomial name
Dioscorea transversa

Dioscorea punctata R.Br.

Dioscorea transversa, Pencil yam, is a vine of eastern and northern Australia.[1][2]

The leaves are heart-shaped, shiny, with 5-7 prominent veins. The seed pods are rounded, green or pink before drying to a straw brown papery texture. The edible tubers are typically slender and long. There are two forms: an eastern rainforest and wet sclerophyll form which doesn't have bulbils, and a northern form which occurs in open forests and has small bulbils and large inground tubers.[3]


The tubers are a staple food of Australian Aboriginals and are eaten after cooking, usually in ground ovens.[3]


  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Govaerts, R., Wilkin, P. & Saunders, R.M.K. (2007). World Checklist of Dioscoreales. Yams and their allies: 1-65. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  3. ^ a b Low, Tim (1988). Wild Food Plants of Australia. North Ryde, N.S.W.: Angus & Robertson. ISBN 0-207-16930-6. 

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