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Dioscorea elephantipes

Dioscorea elephantipes

Regular price $48.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $48.00 USD
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 Dioscorea elephantipes is a succulent plant from the Dioscoreaceae family. It is commonly referred to as the elephant’s foot plant due to its tuberous caudex, resembling the foot of an elephant during its growth. This caudex is an enlarged underground stem that serves as a water and nutrient storage for your Elephant's foot succulent. It also goes by other common names, including Hottentot bread, Tortoise back plant, and Turtle back plant. Originating from the dry regions of South Africa and Namibia, this stunning plant features thick, fleshy stems and heart-shaped leaves with a protective wax layer to prevent water loss and withstand extreme temperatures. It is a species that grows slowly and can reach impressive heights of 10 feet, with a width of 3 feet. As it matures, it develops a unique feature - a thick caudex that resembles an elephant's foot or a small tree trunk, with a textured and rough surface. This plant also produces tendrils as it grows, which it can use to climb and attach to nearby structures for support. Another interesting fact about the Dioscorea elephantipes is that it is summer-deciduous, shedding its leaves during the summer and usually having new shoots emerge in the winter.

The greenish-yellow flowers of Dioscorea elephantipes bloom during the cold months of late fall and early winter. As a dioecious plant, it produces male and female flowers on separate plants. Winter brings pale, greenish-yellow flowers in upright clusters for the male plants, while the female plants have spinescent spikes. These unique flowers grow on long, slender stalks that emerge from the caudex, adding to the allure of this captivating plant.


The Dioscorea elephantipes is known to have mild toxicity for humans and pets if ingested, due to the presence of saponins. These substances can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. To prevent any potential harm, it is recommended to keep this succulent out of reach from curious children and pets.

 In maintaining this distinctive Elephant's foot succulent, achieving the proper balance is key. Dioscorea elephantipes is well-suited for dry environments, preferring periodic but thorough waterings. Overwatering can result in root decay and other issues, so it's crucial to allow the soil to dry out in between waterings. During the growing season, typically winter and spring, water the Elephant Foot plant when the top layer of soil is dry to the touch. When watering, ensure that the soil is deeply saturated, allowing the water to reach the roots. Drain any excess water entirely. During the dormant season, usually in late summer, reduce watering significantly. The resilient Elephant's foot enters a resting period during this time, with decreased water needs. Only water individual plants sparingly during this period, when the soil has completely dried out.

Please Note: Plant will ship bare root with little to no dirt, and you will receive a plant similar to the one in the photo.

Returns & exchanges: Not accepted
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