Dioscorea transversa R.Br.
Brown, R. (1810) Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 295. Type: Northern Australia, R. Brown; holo: BM?; iso: NSW.
Long Yam; Yam, Native; Native Yam; Yam, Long; Yam
A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm. Stems twining to the right (in an anticlockwise direction).
Male flowers: Spikes about 6-7 cm long, usually about 3-5 spikes in each leaf axil. Flowers sessile, +/- globose, about 1.5 mm diam. Tepals in two similar whorls, each tepal about 1.5-2 mm long. Stamens about 0.5 mm long, fused together to form a very short column +/- attached to the base of the tepals. Female flowers: Spikes about 1.5-2.5 cm long, usually 1 or 2 spikes in each leaf axil. Flowers pleasantly perfumed, sessile, about 1.2 mm diam. Tepals in two similar whorls, the outer tepals slightly larger. Tepals about 0.8-1.1 mm long. Hypanthium 3-angled, about 2 mm long. Six minute staminodes or nectary glands visible around the base of the ovary. Style 3-armed, the arms reflexed. Ovules 2 per locule.
Fruits 3-winged, produced in pendulous clusters. Each fruit about 15-20 x 23-26 mm. Wings rounded, about 14-16 x 12-14 mm. Seeds about 6 per fruit. Seed + wing about 15-19 x 11-16 mm. Embryo located on the margin of the seed. Embryo about 0.8-1 mm long, paddle-shaped to obpyriform. Radicle shorter than the 'cotyledon'.
A decoction of this small native yam was used by Aborigines of the Tully (NEQ) district as a application for skin cancers. Cribb (1981).