Dioscorea orbiculata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Dioscorea orbiculata Hook.f.

Family: Dioscoreaceae

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: ubi garam
  • Malaysia: takob, ubi garam, janggut kelonak
  • Thailand: man-tayong (southern).


Southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra (Indonesia).


Well-boiled tubers are used as food in Peninsular Malaysia; raw tubers burn the throat.


Perennial, dioecious herb with stem sparingly armed at the base, twining to the right, up to 10 m long, pubescent. Several tubers produced each year, on stalks up to 2 m long, elongated, white fleshy. Bulbils absent. Leaves simple, usually opposite, rather firm; petiole up to 10 cm long, pubescent; blade orbicular-ovate-cordate, up to 18 cm × 14 cm, glabrescent, long acuminate. Male flowering axes 1-6 together, usually on leafless branches up to 70 cm long, rarely in axillary fascicles, up to 6 cm long and bearing more than 50 sessile flowers, covered with brown dendroid hairs. Female flowering axes solitary, up to 15 cm long, bearing more than 30 flowers, covered with brown hairs. Capsule wings up to 30 mm × 26 mm. D. orbiculata is rather common in Perak (Peninsular Malaysia).

Selected sources

13, 22, 81.


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