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Dioscorea elephantipes lose their leaves in summer so that it can conserve energy. The stems are climbers and the leaves are heart shaped. They flower in May/June, a pale green/yellow flower. They are found on the Western Cape. The caudex can grow to 9 feet. Dioscorea elephantipes can live for 70 years in cultivation. Lightly water in summer months because Dioscorea elephantipes needs to rest. In their natural environment Dioscorea elephantipes are winter/spring growers. Dioscorea are found in the Clanwilliam District of the Western Cape and the Graaf-Reinet, Willowmore and Uniondale Districts of the Eastern Cape. Dioscorea elephantipes is summer deciduous and is a perennial geophytic climber. In summer the leafless plant conserves energy by dropping its leaves in October, just before the onset of the summer heat. The plants are monoecious, that means the flowering sexes are found on separate plants. The stems grow in a climbing fashion. The leaves are heart-shaped. Male flowers are erect with spiny racemes. Female flowers are in spinescent, spreading spikes. Flowers are pale greenish yellow and normally appear in May or June. Seed is produced in September and October.