Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Dioscorea alata L.

Probably a species of Yam, such as Dioscorea alata, with edible roots.  Dioscorea alata is a tuberous perennial, the tubers sometimes very large, weighing up to 40kg and 2 m or more in length.  Widely grown as a food source in the Pacific Islands.  [RHSD, Hortus]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1739.  [JD]. 

History at Camden Park

It was probably sent as seed or tubers from Tahiti by Bidwill and raised by Macarthur.  A plant was presented to the Sydney Botanic Gardens by William Macarthur on November 1st 1847.  [RBGS AB]. 


Published Jan 20, 2009 - 05:28 PM | Last updated Jul 17, 2010 - 04:49 PM

Family Dioscoreaceae
Region of origin

India and South Sea Islands, but much cultivated in the Pacific Islands

Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Dioscorea sp. from Friendly Islands 

Confidence level low