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Dioscorea alata Yam Ubi kelapa Dioscoreaceae

Dioscorea alata, Yam,  Benkuang, Ubi kelapa

Dioscorea alata, Yam,  Benkuang, Ubi kelapa

Widely grown in the West Indies and in West Africa, this is by far the most important of the cultivated yams.
It has pointed heart-shaped leaves and bulbils are frequently borne on the stem.
These can be used in propagation.
Each plant may produce up to 3 tubers which have a brown outer skin and white flesh; they are high in starch and contain about 70 per cent water.
Different cultivars produce tubers of different shapes.
The tubers store well.
Flowering colors: White
Cultivation: These plants require excellent drainage and a fertile soil with a high organic content of well-rotted manure or compost dug in at planting time.
They are best planted in groups to ensure fruiting.
Each plant should be staked.
The period of growth is from 7 to 12 months varying with the species.
If the tubers are not dug up they continue to grow for years.
Propagate from seed, by division or by slicing small pieces, each with 2 or 3 dormant buds, from the upper part of an old tuber.