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Dioscorea balcanica
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Dioscoreales
Family: Dioscoreaceae

See text

  • Dioscoreae R.Br.[1]
  • Dioscorinae[3]

Dioscoreaceae (/ˌdəˌskɔːriˈsii/) is a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants, with about 715 known species in nine genera.[4] The best-known member of the family is the yam (some species of Dioscorea).

The APG system (1998) and APG II system (2003) both place it in the order Dioscoreales, in the clade monocots. However, the circumscription changed in the APG II system, with the 2003 system expanded to include the plants that in the 1998 system were treated in the families Taccaceae and Trichopodaceae.


The Dioscoreaceae were first described by Brown in 1810 as Dioscoreae,[1][5] and alternatively referred to as Dioscorinae.[3]


The circumscription of Dioscoreaceae has expanded over the years. For instance when Stenomeridaceae, as Stenomeris was also included in Dioscoreaceae as subfamily Stenomeridoideae together with Avetra, the remaining four genera were grouped in subfamily Dioscoreoideae, the two being distinguished by the presence of bisexual and unisexual flowers respectively.[6]


As of September 2022, Plants of the World Online accepted four genera in the family:[7]


Dioscorea Plum. ex L. (including Epipetrum Phil., Rajania L.)

Stenomeris Planch.

Tacca J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.

Trichopus Gaertn.


  1. ^ a b c Brown 1810, p. 294.
  2. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
  3. ^ a b Agardh 1825.
  4. ^ Christenhusz, M. J. M.; Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa. Magnolia Press. 261 (3): 201–217. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.1.
  5. ^ Tropicos 2020.
  6. ^ Bouman 1995.
  7. ^ "Dioscoreaceae R.Br". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2022-09-22.


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