Dioscorea Elephantipes, Medium Size, Seed Grown

Elephantipes are prized for their heavily notched, wooden caudices (which resemble turtle shells as they mature, although exact shape and form can vary somewhat with the years).

Well cared for Elephantipes can live upwards of 70 years, adding to their caudex little by little each year. Older Elephantipes have been documented to be as large as three meters across.

When conditions are favorable Elephantipes will produce a lovely vine. The heart-shaped leaves will trellis train easily and grow fast one they get started. The vine will endure as long as conditions are right for photosynthesis, if conditions change the vine will die back and the caudex will rest until favorable conditions resume.


Special Care Instructions, Cold Hardiness and Tips

We advise that you protect the caudex from direct rainfall. These plants have deep-reaching roots when well established, so please make sure to accommodate for root length and be prepared to give your Elephantipes a place to climb once it starts vining. We pot our Elephantipes in a mixture of 1/3 quality organic medium, 1/3 CCF inorganic medium and 1/3 perlite, mixed well. 

These plants are somewhat cold hardy. We have seen our Elephantipes maintain their vines down to temps in the lower 20s Fahrenheit (brief exposure to cold only, in a protected place with the caudex wrapped and protected from frost and snow). Frost and snow will kill the vine, but if the cold is a dry cold the vine will endure brief bouts of cold weather. Ideally it is best to bring the caudex in if possible, but obviously that can sometimes be difficult unless you cut the vine. We don't recommend leaving this plant in cold temperatures for extended periods of time. If you are in a region where you need to overwinter then it is best to simply cut the vine before the first frost and allow your Elephantipes to over winter indoors.

If you request an Elephantipes from us it will ship without the vine. Plant it in a tall container (seriously, the taller the pot the better with these guys and make sure it has lots of drainage), with a mixture similar to what we mentioned above and place it in a warm space (or sunny window) with bright, indirect sun. Do not water for the first 2-3 weeks and then drench the potting mixture around the caudex.

You should start to see something that resembles an asparagus emerge from the top of the caudex within 2 weeks after the first watering. If nothing emerges, the caudex is resting and you can try drenching the potting mix again in 2-3 weeks. When conditions are right the caudex will start vining, but these are African plants that are known to have long dormant periods. So please be patient with them. 

All photos are property of Cedar Creek Farmhouse and feature actual plants we have sold. Coloration of this cultivar may vary depending on time of year and the plants shown in our photos may be either cold stressed or UV stressed. If you wish to use our photos please send us a permission request.


How to Request a Dioscorea Elephantipes






How Long Does the Request Process Take?







Our apologies! At the moment Dioscorea Elephantipes is temporarily unavailable for request. This simply means that our cultivating farms are low on stock today for this particular cultivar. Don't worry! Inventory levels change with our farms almost daily. We'd be happy to text you when we have more Dioscorea Elephantipes available for request. Simply text ELEPHANTIPES to 1-833-772-3327 and we'll let you know the moment our farms restock.

Thanks! We will notify you when this product becomes available!

If you are still interested in requesting this cultivar please click here to be notified when this cultivar is available again at our farms. We will send you a notification as soon as our farms have more availability and you will be able to confirm your request at that time.