A deciduous climbing vine, Dioscorea elephantipes is grown as much for the large woody caudex as it is for the foliage.
Being summer deciduous this is a drought tolerant plant that actually requires a dry summer. The growth period is from late summer through winter into spring.
Drainage and watering are the key to growing Dioscorea elephantipes successfully.
Best planted in a container using a specialist cactus and succulent potting mix with 20 – 20 pumice mixed through to ensure good drainage.
The soil need to be allowed to dry between waterings and it is the soil around the woody caudex that is watered, not the caudex itself.
Fertilise during active growth periods with a 25% strength solution of a liquid fertiliser, seaweed and fish emulsion is ideal.
Usually from seed which are sown into seed trays and covered with a free draining potting mix.
Plant seeds at around 2.5 cm deep and water in once.
- Botanical Name – Dioscorea elephantipes
- Common Name – Elephant’s Foot. Hottentot bread,
- Family – Dioscorea
- Origins – Southern Africa
- Height – The vine will climb to around 1 metre in height.
- Spread – The woody caudex will reach around 45 cm across over time
- Growth rate – Slow.
- Position – Full sun.
- Soil – Free draining
- Flowers – Small yellow to pink.
- Flowering Time – Late summer
- Foliage – Mid to deep green.
- Frost tolerant – Yes
- Drought tolerant – Yes