Dioscorea microphylla

Dioscorea microphylla (Kunth) Greuter & J. Perez

Synonym: Rajania hastata

Common Names: Wild Yam

Family: Dioscoreaceae

Habit: Dioscorea microphylla grows as a vine up climbing on other vegetation up to 2 m in length. The leaves are arranged alternately, triangular hastate in shape, to 8 cm in length, with an entire margin and an acuminate to acute apex. Lobes spreading outward.

The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic, flowers are arranged in racemous panicles.  Staminate flower subtended by a bract and the perianth has 6 unfused tepals.  In staminate flowers there are 6 stamens fused to the perianth and no carpel. In carpellate flowers there are 6 staminodes but no stamens and an inferior ovary with 3 locules and 3 seeds.  The fruit is a samara.

Habitat: Dioscorea microphylla grows in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Forest/Shrubland (coppice) and in Pine Woodlands.

Distribution: Dioscorea microphylla is endemic to the Lucayan Archipelago and Cuba. Within the Lucayan Archipelago it is found in the central and northern island groupings.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Dioscorea microphylla is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.