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Dioscorea deltoidea

Nepal yam

About the plant

This yam species is native to Himalayan forests, from Kashmir and Punjab eastwards to Nepal and China.

  • Not yet evaluated

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of the world’s species. The ongoing mission is to evaluate every plant species in the world.

    IUCN Red List Status:

    Not yet evaluated
    Data deficient
    Least concern
    Near threatened
    Vulnerable
    Endangered
    Critically endangered
    Extinct in the wild
    Extinct
  • Medicine
    Plant or components of this plant are used in medicine
  • Click on icon to reveal more

Facts

  • Inedible yam
  • Perennial climber

No good for eating

Many of the 600+ yam species produce edible tubers (or yams) that are a staple food crop for many millions of people, especially in West Africa.

But this yam species produces inedible rhizomes or roots that branch horizontally underground.

The rhizome is however rich in a steroid that can be used to create vital drugs including anti-inflammatories and asthma inhalers. Yam species from Mexico were the original source of steroids for the birth control pill.


Transporting seeds

The type specimen for this species lives in Kew’s Herbarium. It was collected, along with 20,000 other specimens, by Nathaniel Wallich. Wallich was an innovator in methods for shipping back seeds to England, with a great track record of seed survival. One of his successful methods was to pack the seeds in sugar.

Has small but beautiful flowers – we're still waiting to see if our plant is male or female
  • Not yet evaluated

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of the world’s species. The ongoing mission is to evaluate every plant species in the world.

    IUCN Red List Status:

    Not yet evaluated
    Data deficient
    Least concern
    Near threatened
    Vulnerable
    Endangered
    Critically endangered
    Extinct in the wild
    Extinct
  • Medicine
    Plant or components of this plant are used in medicine
  • Click on icon to reveal more