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Taxon: Dioscorea cayenensis Lam.

Genus: Dioscorea
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Nomen number: 14189
Place of publication: Encycl. 3:233. 1789
Link to protologue: https://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/721668
Name Verified on: 12-May-1995 by ARS Systematic Botanists.
Accessions: 6 (0 active, 0 available) in National Plant Germplasm System

Autonyms (not in current use) and synonyms:

(≡ homotypic synonym, = heterotypic synonym, - autonym)

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Human food: vegetable (roots and tubers are eaten fide Use Pl WT Afr)

Distributional Range:

    Cultivated (only cult.)

    Other (origin w. Africa)


  1. Ayensu, E. S. & D. G. Coursey. 1972. Guinea yams the botany, ethnobotany, use and possible future of yams in West Africa. Econ. Bot. 26:301-318. Note: it suggested Dioscorea cayenensis as a parental species of D. rotundata, the latter interpreted as an allotetraploid
  2. Bhattacharjee, R. et al. 2011. Chapter 4. Dioscorea. Wild crop relatives: genomic and breeding resources, industrial crops 71-96.
  3. Burkill, H. M. 1985. The useful plants of west tropical Africa. 1:660.
  4. Chaïr, H. et al. 2005. Use of cpSSR for the characterisation of yam phylogeny in Benin. Genome 48:674-684.
  5. Erhardt, W. et al. 2002. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 17. Auflage
  6. Flach, M. & F. Rumawas, eds. 1996. Plants yielding non-seed carbohydrates. Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA) 9:86. Note: mentions
  7. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). URL: http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/cropListDetails?code=&relation=beginsWith&name=Dioscorea+cayenensis&quantity=1 target='_blank'
  8. Girma, G. et al. 2014. Next-generation sequencing based genotyping, cytometry and phenotyping for understanding diversity and evolution of guinea yam. Theor. Appl. Genet. 127:1783-1794. Note: it examined polyploidy accross 21 different accessions of Dioscorea cayenensis, all of which were confirmed as triploid plants; it supported the recognition of this taxon "as a subspecies of D. rotundata"
  9. Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. Note: re. Brazilian common names
  10. Hamon, P. & B. Touré. 1990. The classification of the cultivated yams (Dioscorea cayenensis - rotundata complex) of West Africa. Euphytica 47:179-187. Note: Netherlands journal of plant breeding
  11. Howard, R. 1974-1989. Flora of the lesser Antilles.
  12. Kartesz, J. T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Note: lists as "cayennensis"
  13. Keay, R. W. J. & F. N. Hepper. 1953-1972. Flora of west tropical Africa, ed. 2.
  14. Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third.
  15. Markle, G. M. et al., eds. 1998. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2
  16. Onyilagha, J. C. & J. Lowe. 1985. Studies on the relationship of Dioscorea cayenensis and Dioscorea rotundata cultivars. Euphytica 35:733-739. Note: based on 76 characters it distinguished Dioscorea cayenensis from D. rotundata
  17. Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  18. Scarcelli, N. et al. 2006. Genetic nature of yams (Dioscorea sp.) domesticated by farmers in Benin (West Africa). Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 53:121-130.
  19. Terauchi, R. et al. 1992. Origin and phylogeny of Guinea yams as revealed by RFLP analysis of chloroplast DNA and nuclear ribosomal DNA. Theor. Appl. Genet. 83:743-751. Note: it proposed the recognition of yellow yam as "Dioscorea rotundata var. × cayenensis"
  20. Terrell, E. E. et al. 1986. Agricultural Handbook no. 505
  21. PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource).

Check other web resources for Dioscorea cayenensis Lam. :

  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.
  • PubAg: USDA's National Agricultural Library database of full-text journal articles and citations on the agricultural sciences.

Cite as: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System. 2019. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=14189. Accessed 17 July 2019.