Dioscorea luzonensis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Dioscorea luzonensis Schauer

Family: Dioscoreaceae

Vernacular names

  • Philippines: pakit, mayatbang (Tagalog), kamengeg (Ilokano).


Philippines (Luzon, Palawan).


Tubers are often used for food. Harvesting the tubers is laborious, but is rewarding because the plant is abundant in the wild. It is not cultivated.


Perennial, dioecious herb with unarmed stem, twining to the right. Tuber 1 per year, subclavate, up to 5 cm in diameter, up to 1 m deep in the soil, with white to pinkish-white flesh. Bulbils absent. Leaves simple, usually alternate, opposite on thicker stems; petiole as long as the blade; blade cordate, up to 15 cm × 12 cm, herbaceous, auricles somewhat hastately extended. Male flowering spikes negatively geotropic; axes 2-4 together in fascicles in the axil of upper leaves, up to 7 cm long, with about 60 sessile, relatively large flowers. Female flowering axes solitary, up to 22 cm long, with up to 35 flowers. Capsule wings up to 22 mm × 15 mm, ashy-green when dry. The species is abundant at low elevations in areas with a drier period in the prevailing climate (e.g. around Manila). Starch grains of the tuber are round to oval, averaging 35μm × 26μm. D. luzonensis resembles D. divaricata Blanco, but the tubers do not reach as deep and the stems are not spiny.

Selected sources

9, 22, 60.


L.E. Groen, J.S. Siemonsma & P.C.M. Jansen