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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - June 21, 2009

From: Waxahachie, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Source for Dioscorea floribunda or D. villosa
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Can you furnish me with a source for growing my own Dioscorea floribunda, or , Dioscorea villosa?? Many thanks.

ANSWER:

Dioscorea villosa (wild yam) has a distribution over the eastern half of North America so Mr. Smarty Plants invites you to visit our National Suppliers Directory to search for seed companies and nurseries that specialize in native plants in the states where it occurs.  You might also contact medicinal plant organizations such as the Plant Conservation Alliance-Medicinal Plant Working Group's Green Medicine or Herb Research.  You could also try contacting the local chapters of the North American Native Plant Society in each of the states where it is known to grow. Many of the Native Plant Society webpages have links to nurseries and seed sources in their area specializing in native plants. 

Here is information from Purdue University about the uses of D. villosa and you can find cultivation instructions at Alternative Nature Online Herbal.

Dioscorea floribunda is native to Central Mexico and Central America so it is not too likely that you will find a source of seeds or plants in the US unless there is someone growing it for medicinal purposes.  My suggestion for finding such a source is to google the botanical name.

 

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