Dioscorea brasiliana Poir.
Dioscorea braziliensis Willd.
Common Name: Cush Cush Yam
Photograph by: User:Mvh57
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
Cush cush yam is a perennial climbing plant producing twining stems about 3 metres long from a tuberous rootstock. These stems scramble over the ground, or twine into the surrounding vegetation[
The plant is widely cultivated in tropical areas, especially S. America and the Caribbean, for its edible root[
Northern S. America - Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama to Guatemala; eastern Caribbean.
A plant of the moist tropics and subtropics. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 26°c, but can tolerate 10 - 36°c[
]. It can be killed by temperatures of 7°c or lower[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,200 - 2,600mm, but tolerates 1,000 - 4,000mm[
]. This species grows better at lower temperatures than most tropical yams[
Prefers a sunny position, tolerating some shade[
]. For best yields, most yams require a deep, well-drained, sandy loam that is not liable to water-logging[
]. This species will succeed in a wide range of soils so long as there is plenty of organic matter and they are well drained[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 6.7, tolerating 5.3 - 8[
Daylengths of more than 12 hours are preferred during the early growing season since this encourages vegetative growth; daylengths of less than 12 hours towards the end of the growing season will encourage tuber formation and development[
Crops can be obtained in 9 - 11 months from planting, yields of 15 - 20 tonnes per hectare have been achieved[
Plants produce groups of 5 - 50 tubers from enlarged stolons or runners[
This is perhaps the only cultivated yam species that has retained its full reproductive potential through seed formation[
There are some named varieties[
A dioecious species, both male and female plants need to be grown if seed is required.
Root - cooked[
]. Boiled or baked, some forms have an excellent flavour[
]. The cooked flesh is smooth in texture, attractive and of an unusual rich flavour that is readily appreciated and sufficiently moist in the mouth[
]. Roots are about 15 - 20cm long and 6 - 8cm in diameter[
Seed - sown in containers and planted out at the beginning of the growing season[
Cuttings of tubers. Small tubers can be cut into 2 - 4 sections, larger ones into 6 - 8 sections. Each section should have 2 - 3 dormant buds. The cut tuber is often left in the sun for several hours to promote wound healing and reduce the risk of fungal infection[
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