Dioscorea elephantipes

$165.00

Dioscorea elephantipes aka Elephant Foot, also referred to as Testudinaria elephantipes. It is a rare perennial deciduous vining caudex plant native to the dry, rocky lands of South Africa. The Elephant Foot is prized for its beautifully shaped caudex, which is a water storing organ used by the the plant to survive drought season. Seasonally, the Elephant foot will grow a long vine, lush with heart shaped yellow/green leaves. Depending on the environment and age, the vines can grow back several times a year and grow as long as 2 meters long per season, collectors often trellis the vine in cultivation. The Elephant foot is deciduous, meaning the leaves will fall every season. Most indoor vines are clipped after leaves fall and a new vine grows the next season. In its natural habitat the vine also functions as a shade for the caudex to prevent exposure from the harsh sun.

Please note: Every plant will vary in size, color and shape from the one pictured. Planter is not included. Plant ships bare root.

Origin

Native to South Africa.

Sun

Dioscorea elephantipes do best in light shade, but when grown indoors, they benefit from a few hours of hot, direct sun. Avoid intense afternoon sun. Grow outdoors in light shade or indoors in a sunny window with southern exposure and direct sun.

Water

Water sparingly around the edges of the caudex, and only when the soil is almost, completely dry. When the Dioscorea is dormant, it requires little water, assess your environment to define how much moisture is acceptable. As soon as the vine starts to yellow and die back, decrease water significantly. The plant is now entering into its dormancy and will not require as much moisture.

Tula's Tip

The Dioscorea elephantipes is described as a winter grower, but in cultivation it best described as an 'opportunistic grower' directly responding to the environment it grows within. Do not overwater when trying to encourage vining. The plant will vine when it is ready. When grown on a windowsill keep temps above 65 degrees F. Soil MUST have a gritty structure and drain easily. Water around the edges of the caudex, and only when the soil is completely dry. Fertilize: When the vine starts to appear, begin a regular watering cycle plus light fertilizer. As soon as the vine starts to yellow and die back, stop using the fertilizer and decrease water significantly. The plant is now entering into its dormancy and will not require as much moisture.

Size

Caudex is approx. 2-3" wide. Every plant will vary in size, color and shape from the one pictured. 

 

Delivery Method

Nationwide shipping, NYC delivery and pickup available. Delivered Bare root