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Dioscorea alata L. (Dioscoreaceae)
Vernacular name: man-sao (central), man thu (southern)
Common name: greater yam (English), ten-months yam (English), daisho (Japanese)

  Dioecious, annual, glabrous herb, climbing up to 10 m, stem twining to the right, unarmed, quadrangular and usually conspicuously 4-winged, green to purplish. Axillary bulbils abundant but number varies with cultivar, tubers usually single, varying in size and shape, globose, stout and short, pyriform, often variously lobed or fingered and fasciculated or curved; brown to black; flesh white, cream or purplish (superficially or throughout). Leaves simple, alternate towards the base, opposite towards apex, subsagittately or subhastately ovate, 10-30 by 5-20 cm, acuminate, 5-nerved, bright green or sometimes tinged purplish; petiole up to as long as the blade, sometimes marginally frilled, auriculate at base. Male inflorescence a spike, 1-2 together, aggregated on leafless axillary branches up to 30 cm long, axis sometimes slightly zigzag. Female inflorescence a solitary, axillary spike, up to 60 cm long. Fruit a transversely elliptical, 3-winged capsule, c. 2.5 by 3.5 cm. Seed orbicular, winged all round.
  Common climber of subhumid to humid tropics, an annual precipitation of 1,000-1,500 mm, lowland. Several local landraces are selected and grown by the natives in various remote area.
  Tubers and larger bulbils are boiled and peeled, add to curry or cooked as a sweet with coconut milk and sugar. In 100 g edible portion of tuber contain water 70 g, protein 1.1-2.8 g, fat 0.1-0.3 g, carbohydrate 28.5 g (starch 28 g and sugar 0.5 g), fiber 0.6-1.4 g, ash 0.7-2.1 g, vitamin A 0.18 mg, vitamin B1 0.09 mg, vitamin B2 0.03 mg, and vitamin C 5-28 mg.
  Propagation & Growing: tuber pieces weighing 50-500 g are used for planting on mounds, ridges, or on the flat.

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