Dioscoreaceae (weeds)

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Dioscorea communis (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Otto Wilhelm Thomé
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Dioscoreaceae - Dioscorea (weeds) L. - (yam family)

This family includes more than 500 species of climbing plants. A number of species from the genus Dioscorea are cultivated root crops in the tropics. Two other species from that genus are weedy and invasive. For example the air potato vine, Dioscorea bulbifera, is native to Asia and Africa and now widespread in tropical parts of the Americas and the Pacific, suppressing indigenous plant species.

Both weedy species propagate mainly through the formation of bulbils. These are aerial bulbs, formed vegetatively in leaf axils, which sprout to form new plants. In addition, tubers and seeds can be produced and develop into new plants.

Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: