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Testudinaria (dioscorea) (Caudex)

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Testudinaria (dioscorea)

Its name comes from the Latin word "tartaruga" meaning “turtle” and it makes reference to one of the characteristics for which this unusual succulent is most loved: its massive and imposing caudex (sometimes it reaches a circumference reaching up to three meters!). As it grows, it tends to form a thick bark, which splits creating deep polygonal shapes geometrically accurate, very similar to the carapace of a turtle.It is a plant that, unusually, enters the vegetative period in winter, when thin branches emerge from the woody tuber falling into a wonderful cascade of heart-shaped leaves. During the vegetative rest, however, only the caudex remains, which contains multiple nutrients sufficient for the sustenance of the plant and not only: deeply rich in starch, it is in fact also used for food purposes among the African indigenous populations, hence the common name of "bread of the Hottentots". It is not over yet, recently they discovered more uses for this decorative and particular plant, as an important herbal aid to treat numerous ailments: from the intestinal ones to rheumatism!