The fresh young leaves on the much-branched, wiry shoots of Dioscorea elephantipes have a healthy bright green colour in this Kirstenbosch specimen.
Knowledge and care are human attributes useful to plant survival in cultivation. Still, humans admire the do or die behaviour of many plants in nature that never waver in capitalising on their opportunities, however meagre. They adapt and evolve, reducing death of the individual to a tiny step in the continuation and gradual transformation of their species.
The rounded lobes at the base of the more or less rounded leaf render it somewhat kidney-shaped. Five to seven veins from the leaf base spread and curve along the still glossy surfaces (Smith and Crouch, 2009; www.pacificbulbsociety.org).