Home >> Plants Profile: Part-D >> Dioscorea alata L.

Dioscorea alata L.

Synonyms: Dioscorea rubella Roxb.

Group: Monocot
Family: Dioscoreaceae - Yam family
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Vine

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Churpri Alu, Mete Alu, Kamalu, Kham, Kham-alu

Tribal Name: Subri Alu (Chakma), Raing (Tanchangya).

English Name: Yam, The Greater Yam, Asiatic Yam

Description of the Plant:

A twining annual herb, tubers polymorphic, direct at the base of stem, stem twining right, Bulbils sparse to abundant, globose, ovoid. Leaves simple, ovate or deltoid ovate, opposite. Flower yellow in axillary short spikes. Fruits a capsule, winged.

Chemical Constituents:

Tuber contains anthocyanins, steroidal glycosides, cholesterol, campesterol, ß-sitosterol and stigmasterol, diosgenin, sapogenin, alkaloid and starch. It also contains a number of sterols and trans-crotonic, ferulic and palmitic acids (Ghani, 2003).

Mode of Uses:

  • Tuber is eaten to cure constipation (Murang).
  • Boiled tubers and bulbils are edible. Also cooked as vegetables and used in meat (Chakma, Tripura).


Cultivated throughout Bangladesh.

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