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Dioscorea elephantipes (Elephant's foot)

Advanced
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
1m
Max height
1m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Dioscorea elephantipes

Other names

Elephant's foot, Hottentot bread, Tortoise plant, Testudinaria elephantipes

Genus

Dioscorea Dioscorea

Species

D. elephantipes - D. elephantipes is a tender, deciduous, climbing, perennial succulent with heart-shaped, blue-green leaves, and racemes of small, bell-shaped, yellow flowers in summer.


Dioscorea elephantipes is: Deciduous

Habit

Climbing

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

Flower

Yellow in Summer

Foliage

Blue-green in Spring; Blue-green in Autumn; Blue-green in Winter

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids Aphids

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 11.

Propagation methods

Seed, Softwood cuttings, Stem tubers


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Where to grow

Dioscorea elephantipes (Elephant's foot) will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 1m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Conservatory, Containers, Desert garden/Xeriscaping, Drought Tolerant, Greenhouse

Cultivation

In frost-free areas, grow in sharply-drained soil in sun with the caudex in shade. Summer deciduous in hot, dry climates. Under glass, grow in gritty compost in full light. In growth, water moderately & feed every 2-3 weeks. Keep dry when dormant, only watering to keep the caudex from shriveling

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, East

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Dioscorea elephantipes

Other names

Elephant's foot, Hottentot bread, Tortoise plant, Testudinaria elephantipes

Genus

Dioscorea Dioscorea

Species

D. elephantipes - D. elephantipes is a tender, deciduous, climbing, perennial succulent with heart-shaped, blue-green leaves, and racemes of small, bell-shaped, yellow flowers in summer.

Native to

South Africa

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Climbing

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


Colour

Flower

Yellow in Summer

Foliage

Blue-green in Spring; Blue-green in Autumn; Blue-green in Winter


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 11.

Propagation methods

Seed, Softwood cuttings, Stem tubers


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Dioscorea elephantipes (Elephant's foot) will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 1m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Conservatory, Containers, Desert garden/Xeriscaping, Drought Tolerant, Greenhouse

Cultivation

In frost-free areas, grow in sharply-drained soil in sun with the caudex in shade. Summer deciduous in hot, dry climates. Under glass, grow in gritty compost in full light. In growth, water moderately & feed every 2-3 weeks. Keep dry when dormant, only watering to keep the caudex from shriveling

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, East

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3)

USDA zones

Zone 11, Zone 10, Zone 9

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Dioscorea elephantipes (Elephant's foot)

Common pest name

Solanum whitefly

Scientific pest name

Aleurotrachelus trachoides

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Whitefly pest of tomato; pepper and aubergine present in the Americas and Africa. A Europe-wide PRA will help assess its potential to cause damage in glasshouses.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, East Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3) Tell us...

GARDENS WITH THIS PLANT

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