Old leaves of Dioscorea elephantipes lose their brilliant gloss and shine en route to being discarded at the end of their deciduous life cycle.
These leaves also show that the regular fanning pattern of veins from the base sometimes seen is not universal. Here they branch further away from the leaf base. Unique, squiggly patterns occur among the veins as they multiply and grow fainter towards the margins, all serving the purpose of life-sustaining liquid transportation.
If the leaf tip had been more pointed, heart-shape might have been descriptive of its appearance. Not quite achieving kidney-shape here either, the descriptors still convey ideas about identity that contribute to concept attainment, although better insight may replace them as knowledge grows (Smith and Crouch, 2009; www.pacificbulbsociety.org).