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Plant Name        Dioscorea pentaphylla  

                Common name: Buck Yam          

                Marathi:              God kanda/ Karanda     

                English:                Lesser yam, Chinese yam            

                Jawhar:                Lundha



Identification guide      


Buck yam is a perennial climbing plant producing annual stems from a perennial rootstock. These stems scramble over the ground, or twine into the surrounding vegetation


Thin, vary from smooth to prickly, twine clockwise direction,


Alternate, pointed at the tip, lobed at the base


Fibrous, swollen ends of stolon arise from the crown of the plant


Each stolon bears one tuber, 5 -20 tubers per plant, light yellow in colour


Habit / Habitat

It is an herbaceous spiny vine

It requires tropical conditions and high temperatures to survive. The soil should have good drainage property and high level of organic matter.



The plant is species is native to India, Vietnam and Philippines. It has been domesticated in China and is less used in South-east Asia.            


Edible parts

World wide use                                               Tubers

Used by tribal community in Jawhar        Leaves, young shoots and tubers


Method of consumption

Jawhar tribal     

  1. Tuber boiled and cooked
  2. Leaves and young shoots boiled and cooked as vegetable.

Medicinal use  

The juice of the plant is applied to boils.

A decoction of the plant is applied to swellings


Nutritional and medicinal information

A study conducted on D.esculenta shows that the presence of saponin and dioscin         



Propagation and Storage

 Season of collection

Edible: Monsoon 

 How to grow it?

 Cuttings of tubers are planted below the surface of the ground

 Method of storage

1) Propagules: Tuber is kept in sun for few hours and stored in a dry place until the season of cultivation.

2) Edibles: Tubers are stored in a dry place for over a period of 2-3 months after harvest.             



Kingdom:            Plantae

Division:              Spermatophyta

Sub-division:     Angiospermae

Class:                    Monocotyledonae

Order:                   Epigynae

Family:                 Dioscoreaceae

Genus:                Dioscorea

Species:               pentaphylla





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