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Taxon: Dioscorea rotundata Poir.

Genus: Dioscorea
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Nomen number: 14249
Place of publication: Encycl. suppl. 3:139. 1813
Link to protologue:
Name Verified on: 12-May-1995 by ARS Systematic Botanists.
Accessions: 7 (0 active, 0 available) in National Plant Germplasm System

Autonyms (not in current use), synonyms and invalid designations:

(≡ homotypic synonym, = heterotypic synonym, - autonym, I invalid designation)

Common names:

  • white Guinea yam  (Source: World Econ Pl) - English
  • igname blanc  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • igname de Guinée  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • Guinea-Yamswurzel  (Source: Zander ed17) - German
  • weißer Guinea Yam  (Source: Dict Rehm) - German
  • ñame blanco  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • ñame guineo blanco  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish

Economic Importance:

  • Human food: vegetable;

Distributional Range:

    Cultivated (only cult.)

    Other (origin w. Africa)


  1. Adams, C. 1972. Flowering plants of Jamaica 67.
  2. Akoroda, M. O. 1985. Pollination management for controlled hybridization of white yam. Sci. Hort. 25:201-209. Note: it tested three hand-pollination crosses between Dioscorea rotundata 2n=40 (recognized as a tetraploid) and D. cayenensis and D. praehensilis
  3. Bhattacharjee, R. et al. 2011. Chapter 4. Dioscorea. Wild crop relatives: genomic and breeding resources, industrial crops 71-96.
  4. Burkill, H. M. 1985. The useful plants of west tropical Africa. 1:667-668.
  5. Erhardt, W. et al. 2002. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 17. Auflage
  6. 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+rotundata&quantity=1 target='_blank'
  7. 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 43 accessions of diploid and triploid plants of Dioscorea rotundata
  8. Hedberg, I. & S. Edwards. 1989-. Flora of Ethiopia Note: = Dioscorea cayenensis Lam.
  9. Kartesz, J. T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland.
  10. Keay, R. W. J. & F. N. Hepper. 1953-1972. Flora of west tropical Africa, ed. 2. Note: = Dioscorea cayenensis subsp. rotundata (Poir.) Miege
  11. Markle, G. M. et al., eds. 1998. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2
  12. N'kounkou, J. S. 1996. Synthese taxonomique des Dioscorea (Dioscoreaceae) d'Afrique centrale (Congo, Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi). Fragm. Florist. Geobot. 41:598. Note: = Dioscorea cayenensis Lam.
  13. Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  14. Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants
  15. Scarcelli, N. et al. 2005. Segregation patterns of isozyme loci and microsatellite markers show the diploidy of African yam Dioscorea rotundata (2n=40). Theor. Appl. Genet. 111:226-232. Note: it found support for interpreting Dioscorea rotundata 2n=40 as a diploid
  16. 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: this study found evidence for the probable origin of Dioscorea rotundata "through the direct domestication of either one or several wild species" of sect. Enantiophyllum; it also proposed the application of this name to include cultivars currently recognized in D. cayenensis, and the latter be a variety or subspecies of D. rotundata as "D. rotundata var. × 'cayenensis'"
  17. Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1952-. Flora of tropical East Africa. Note: mentions

Check other web resources for Dioscorea rotundata Poir. :

  • 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. 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=14249. Accessed 26 May 2020.