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Author Topic: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection  (Read 12566 times)

Caesar

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #75 on: April 19, 2019, 03:53:18 PM »
My pentaphylla has been actively growing and lengthening for several weeks now, and I have planted the bulbil from the seemingly sick Sena vine, hoping it won't inherit what the mother vine has... If it does, I will cull it. Another Sena vine has already dried up without bearing, and the others show no bulbils at all, save for a tiny one from a healthy vine, which I've already plucked and planted, my last hope at a healthy vine (unless a tuber resprouts healthily soon).

The new bulbiferas have all sprouted, with the bumpy one from India taking things slow, and "Hawaii" speeding up, overtaking the pentaphylla. I also have 5 D. japonica well-sprouted, and a couple of D. esculenta just beginning to sprout. Several D. dodecaneura vines are growing between two pots, but they look like they've seen better days (probably because they weren't able to climb in time and had their tips die off before I transplanted them).

The polystachya, while clinging to survival with an iron fist and multiplying like crazy (from the occasional bulbil and many root pieces), has failed to thrive. It hasn't produced a decently sized root for me yet, and very few of my vines have lengthened enough to climb properly and bear bulbils (and these didn't grow that far). Perhaps it prefers temperate climates, but I hope I can get them to grow well enough in the coming seasons so I can get a decent harvest.

I've taken stock of my alatas, and currently have 6 varieties. 2 purples (one sold to me as Dark Night St. Vincent, one from Pineislander in Florida), 2 "domestic" bulbil bearers (one from Pineislander, and one sold to me as a bulbifera by Rare Palm Seeds - they did not answer when contacted regarding the discrepancy), a feral bulbil bearer from my back hillside (I call it "ame de monte", hill yam) and the domestic Florido, obtained from local markets.

And finally, I've one D. rotundata, and one cayennensis which grew from the roots again after failing to develop a tuber last season.

The season is starting to pick up! Hopefully I'll have a better harvest than last year (which was itself decent).


Caesar

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #77 on: April 26, 2019, 04:40:38 PM »
Great gallery! The ones from Haiti looks Asian. And as suspected, it seems African cultivars are more common, especially "Hawaii". We gotta get more people growing these. They're good food.

All the fruit

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😂😂😂i still remember how i poisoned myself with raw Dioscorea bulbifera when i was 8. I really wanted to know what those "fruit" on the vine tasted like.😂😂😂

Luisport

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😂😂😂i still remember how i poisoned myself with raw Dioscorea bulbifera when i was 8. I really wanted to know what those "fruit" on the vine tasted like.😂😂😂
Really? It was very bad?

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I remember lying on a bench ner the Botanic garden and puking. Guess after 15 min or so i was ok.

Luisport

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I remember lying on a bench ner the Botanic garden and puking. Guess after 15 min or so i was ok.
Good to know you get ok!  ;D

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 ;D thanks

Caesar

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😂😂😂i still remember how i poisoned myself with raw Dioscorea bulbifera when i was 8. I really wanted to know what those "fruit" on the vine tasted like.😂😂😂

That could've been a very dangerous experience, I'm glad you're okay. As kids, we'd taste anything without giving it a second thought. As long as we live to tell the tale, I consider it a lesson learned.  ;)

You travel a lot through Southeast Asia, they should have a lot of edible varieties there. Avoid the wild ones, ask the natives for the ones they eat, peel 'em, boil 'em up, season them and try them on video; I'd love to see more vids on edible air potatoes. And if you could bring back a few, I'm always looking for more varieties.  ;D

Luisport

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My yam berries (Dioscorea polystachya) are sprouting... the first yam to sprout!  ;D

Luisport

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Some info about yam berries...

Tiny Mukago Potatoes
 
 
Description/Taste
Tiny Mukago potatoes are very small, aerial tubers, most averaging the size of a shelled English pea, approximately one centimeter in diameter. They are oval to round in shape and have dark brown to gray, russeted and rough textured skin. The flesh is pale cream to white with a sticky texture, similar to taro root. When cooked, Tiny Mukago potatoes take on a soft, bean-like texture and have an earthy, slightly bitter taste.

Seasons/Availability
Tiny Mukago potatoes are available in the fall.

Current Facts
Tiny Mukago potatoes, botanically classified as Dioscorea japonica, are the small, aerial tubers of the yamaimo, or Japanese yam plant. The yamaimo is known as the mountain potato and is best known for its large underground tuber which can take up to three or four years to mature. Tiny Mukago potatoes are the edible, aerial bulbils that appear annually and grow on the vine of the plant. Once harvested, they are planted to grow more yamaimo root or are utilized as a food source. Tiny Mukago potatoes are also known as Potato Bulbs, Potato Buds, Yam Berries and Yam Nuts. They are considered to be a delicacy in Japan.

Nutritional Value
Tiny Mukago potatoes contain vitamin B1, B2, B6, and C as well as potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Applications
Tiny Mukago potatoes are best suited for both raw or cooked applications and taste best when boiled lightly, grilled, or fried in oil and salted. Tiny Mukago potatoes are often served as a bar snack in Japan. They are also used in miso soup and boiled along with rice to make Tiny Mukago gohan or potato rice. They pair well with gingko nuts, burdock root, lotus root, carrots, chestnuts, mushrooms, garlic, parsley, kombu, and sake. Tiny Mukago potatoes have a relatively long shelf life and should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Ethnic/Cultural Info
Tiny Mukago potatoes are a rarity outside of Japan, where native Ibarakians in Tsukuba and Ibaraki still often refer to the Mukago by their ancient name, Nukago. Tiny Mukago potatoes are used in shojin-ryori (Japanese temple food), which makes use of foraged ingredients. Tiny Mukgao potatoes were also mentioned in a Shijo school text, one of the earliest records devoted to the preparation and presentation of food in Japan. The text, which dates back to 1489 BCE, indicates that an elaborate plate, which ought to be appropriate for the rank of the person the dish is being served to, should be used to serve skewers of grilled Tiny Mukago potatoes and fish cakes.

Geography/History
Tiny Mukago potatoes are native to Japan, China, and Korea. The yamaimo plant grows naturally along rivers and forest edges and in the mountains in Japan, where it has a history of cultivation dating back to 50,000 BCE. Today, the yamaimo plant is grown in home gardens both for its large, underground yams and for the Tiny Mukago aerial tubers. Tiny Mukago potatoes thrive in temperate climates and are found mainly in Japan in home gardens and at local markets.
https://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Tiny_Mukago_Potatoes_11774.php

Luisport

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Great link on Mukago potatos!

http://bastish.net/blog/2011/10/22/mukago/

Luisport

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Luisport

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #88 on: June 02, 2019, 11:14:58 AM »
My yam berries (Dioscorea polystachya) sprouting...   ;D



 


Caesar

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #89 on: June 06, 2019, 12:06:32 AM »
My yam berries (Dioscorea polystachya) are sprouting... the first yam to sprout!  ;D


They're usually the last ones to sprout for me. I think they're gonna like it over there, they really seem like a more temperate climate species, though they're capable enough of growing in the tropics. Mine are finicky; I've treated some of them well (but not ideally), and have had rather small, wimpy vines, incapable of carrying a good crop (though they were mostly first year vines, with a few second years). Meanwhile, I've had some be utterly mistreated, and grow more vigorous vines that might reach bearing size if I just gave them a good spot (mostly second year vines). I think they like good spacing from other plants, and strong support from the start (this is vital: if the vine doesn't find something to climb, the tip will die, and it rarely produces a branch or second vine in the same season). I made this mistake with my D. japonica, and I wonder if it's done growing for the season, or if it'll put out new growth. It's my first time growing D. japonica.


Great link on Mukago potatos!

http://bastish.net/blog/2011/10/22/mukago/


Those are definitely D. japonica, as described in the link, but they look really similar to the D. polystachya.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EtZrbCAq2E


That one's a D. bulbifera, for sure (maybe an African strain). Polystachya and japonica don't bear bulbils anywhere near that size, and it's the wrong shape for alata or pentaphylla.


My yam berries (Dioscorea polystachya) sprouting...   ;D



 




They look lovely! Be warned though, if your soil is good, you'll be seeing a lot more of them in time. With their slow sprouting, I often forgot mine, only to have them sprout in a lot of different pots. I even have one in my mom's flower garden... That's what I get for recycling soil (there's a potato and my last D. trifida growing there too).

Luisport

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #90 on: July 16, 2019, 06:42:48 AM »
Regular and purple Dioscorea Alata
 

Luisport

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #91 on: August 13, 2019, 06:19:41 AM »
Dioscorea plants growing very well...

D. Bulbifera
 

 


D. Polystacha
 


D. Alata, purple and white
 

 

 


D. Alata var Florido, the last one to sprout
 

Luisport

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #92 on: October 19, 2019, 02:47:30 PM »
My dioscoreas...
 

 

 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2019, 02:49:55 PM by Luisport »

Caesar

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #93 on: October 29, 2019, 01:29:34 PM »
Your vines are looking great Luis! Remember to save pieces from the non-bulbil-bearers after harvest, to multiply the vines.


An update on my vines and my situation in general:

I'm now bouncing back from a period of neglect, and things are going decently well. I stopped taking care of the garden (beyond the basics) in the couple of months leading into july, working on some projects with the family. I got sick prior to a trip to the States with my family, so I didn't get to set up my plants as well as I had hoped. When I got back, there were some casualties (including some yams that died back), and weeds in obscene quantities. It's been a few months, and I've gotten back to work, and back to the forum.

I've managed to weed the potted specimens and organize them, taking full stock of my losses. It seems my new highly bumpy bulbifera (CV-2) won't be bearing a crop of bulbils any time soon; nevertheless, it does seem to have tuberized, so I expect to see it growing again. Sena's growth is now in full swing, together with CV-1, and Hawaii has not only resprouted, it already has a large-ish bulbil putting on size. I got a couple of people I've promised bulbils to, but depending on this season's production, I may be able to supply more people with them on a first-come basis.

D. dodecaneura/discolor is alive and though I haven't checked, I think it may have several small tubers; a few more seasons of growth should help those tubers put on some size. D. pentaphylla is alive, one growing, one died back. D. cayennensis has a rather small and mistreated vine, but otherwise hasn't stopped growing since last year. I got some Floridos and a Guinea Yam that I expect to have bulked up in the last few months (I'll take pics around harvest time). The Florida White, and Purple alatas are still growing, and Dark Night St. Vincent is in the shade with the Florida Purples, to see if the cooler temperatures increase pigment production. The D. japonica didn't re-sprout, but they did tuberize, so they should resprout with the polystachya in the coming months. Finally, the D. esculenta I got from Chandramohan (possibly the tastiest Yam in my collection, I'm eager to try it!) is somewhat small, but is arguably the bushiest yam in my collection, second only to bulbifera in vigor (though definitely not in size). I have to check on the D. trifida in my mom's flower garden; if it's not scabby, I'm propagating it this year.

The one remaining Hopniss Bean is still dormant, but the Day-neutral Winged Beans have resprouted from the roots and are already putting out another small crop. The Elephant-foor Yam and Enset periodically go dormant and resprout (currently active), and the Australian Bush Potato (Ipomoea costata) has one remaining survivor, currently resprouting. I'm getting a vigorous crop of Potato Mint at my grandmothers house (where the Conophor vines still survive), and I'm still on the lookout for Plectranthus esculentus (if anyone has any leads please let me know).

All my Andean Roots (Oca, Ulluco, Mashua, Mauka) have died off without tuberizing, save for a single specimen of Mauka, which I hope to be able to grow well this next year, once I get it in the ground. The Tuberous Vetch is gone, completely dug up and eaten by rats, no survivors. The Hog Peanut is gone. The true Peanuts are still there, sprouting again from my unharvested seeds. The Chute/Chuta/Florida Pistachio (edible Jatropha curcas) hasn't branched much at all, but the in-ground specimen is almost as tall as me now, and the smaller of the two potted specimens is flowering. The Chaya survived in the small pots, I gotta get at least one of them into the ground. The Cerrado Cashew died before I could graft it, so I'll be trying again as soon as I'm able to get more. A few Sapodilla seedlings managed to survive (as did one Passionfruit, this one's yours Luis), and now I have some Mammee Apple sprouting. The Jarilla chocola has proven remarkably resilient, resprouting every time without fail; I deeply regret having lost some clones of it, but if there's still a male and a female among my plants, there's hope yet. The Taro, Yauta and Turmeric are all doing well, the Myrciaria coronata survived my crude transplantation efforts, and my Mocambo (Theobroma bicolor) is growing its first fruit, all by itself, no pollinator. The brambles are still alive, and I still intend to breed them with strawberry when both get to flowering. The Goji Berry is still alive, and has borne some fruit for me.

Lastly, I'm trying to breed tropical-adapted potatoes again from in-Vitro germplasm and TPS, from Solanum tuberosum, S. phureja, S. cardiophyllum and several other wild species. I may have success yet, if God is willing.

I think I've covered the most important bases. It feels more like a name-dropping session, but the point was to update y'all on how my plants are doing, so there it is. I hope stay active on the forum again, 'cause I'm hopeless without y'all.  ;D

Caesar

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #94 on: November 04, 2019, 05:39:52 PM »
Back when I harvested my Dark Night St. Vincent, I was a bit disappointed to find that the flesh was mostly white. I don't think the seller misrepresented nor mislabeled their plants, but I was curious why it didn't have the deep purple coloration I saw in the pictures. An idea occurred to me today that maybe 1st year vines don't develop the intense coloration, that maybe they need 2 or more growing season before turning deep purple. Alatas are one of those yams where the tuber usually keeps growing instead of being consumed once vine growth starts, so maybe they take time to deposit their pigments in the tubers. I have three containers of DNSV growing together with 3 containers of the Florida Ube I got from pineislander. I may or may not harvest one of each this season to eat it, but I'm leaving the other two for another year (and maybe even another 2 years) before I harvest, to see how pigment production changes in mature tubers. Maybe I'll get those dark purple tubers I was hoping for.

Also note: the two purples are different, DNSV having more angular-heart leaves (with a broad notch), and the Ube having more oval-shaped leaves (heart-shaped, but with a narrow notch that brings the lobes together). A side-by-side comparison of the leaves:


Luisport

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #95 on: November 05, 2019, 06:33:39 AM »
Back when I harvested my Dark Night St. Vincent, I was a bit disappointed to find that the flesh was mostly white. I don't think the seller misrepresented nor mislabeled their plants, but I was curious why it didn't have the deep purple coloration I saw in the pictures. An idea occurred to me today that maybe 1st year vines don't develop the intense coloration, that maybe they need 2 or more growing season before turning deep purple. Alatas are one of those yams where the tuber usually keeps growing instead of being consumed once vine growth starts, so maybe they take time to deposit their pigments in the tubers. I have three containers of DNSV growing together with 3 containers of the Florida Ube I got from pineislander. I may or may not harvest one of each this season to eat it, but I'm leaving the other two for another year (and maybe even another 2 years) before I harvest, to see how pigment production changes in mature tubers. Maybe I'll get those dark purple tubers I was hoping for.

Also note: the two purples are different, DNSV having more angular-heart leaves (with a broad notch), and the Ube having more oval-shaped leaves (heart-shaped, but with a narrow notch that brings the lobes together). A side-by-side comparison of the leaves:


Yes i agree with you. Maby she neads several growing seasons to show the purple pigment...
My alatas didn't make any aereal bulb and my bubiferas just give one bulb, so they nead more growing seasons to develop better.

Anolis

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #96 on: November 05, 2019, 10:54:33 AM »
Ive grown an unknown variety of purple D. alata (found in an Asian market) for about 5 years now, and have noticed the same thing regarding pigmentation. It was my first yam, so I took very good care of it and harvested about 20 lbs of large tubers that year. They were all a beautiful dark purple color through and through. Unfortunately, today Im mostly getting white tubers with some pale purple marbling, and if Im lucky enough to get a pure purple one, it is generally a smaller, newer tuber.

Im not sure what is causing the color change, but have a suspicion it could be related to the yams growth rate, as I have been ever more neglectful while their numbers grow. (The newest growth...bulbils...are always a dark rich purple.) Next year I may put my theory to the test, making sure to feed and water a portion of them to see if that helps retain their purple coloration.

Caesar

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #97 on: November 06, 2019, 12:12:40 PM »
Interesting... So with you, it's the younger yams that have the deep purple coloration. That runs counter to what I was suspecting. Keep us posted if the water and fertilizer regimen has an impact. I'm still wondering if an older vine, left undisturbed for a few seasons, might accumulate any significant amount of pigments. Worst case scenario, we might be dealing with a high degree of somatic mutation, in which case the pigment loss might be permanent to the strain unless it mutates back.

The Florida Ube also had the same color, as I found when I snapped a double-bulbil in half.

pineislander

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #98 on: November 08, 2019, 08:42:05 PM »
I am getting a good bulbil crop on both white and purple alata vines, and should have plenty to sell or trade after New Years.

Caesar

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Re: The Yam Checklist: Starting a Backyard Dioscorea Germplasm Collection
« Reply #99 on: November 09, 2019, 03:46:31 PM »
I am getting a good bulbil crop on both white and purple alata vines, and should have plenty to sell or trade after New Years.

Would you consider these two alatas productive bulbil-bearers? Would you grow them for that particular purpose?

Mine survived well enough, but beside being first-year vines, the white ones had their growing tips damaged early on, so I don't expect much from them this season.

 

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