The botanical origins of the Chinese drug material in yams were clarified by anatomical studies of the plant materials, twelve cultivarities/species of Dioscorea. These plant materials were TNG1(Dioscorea alata L.), TNG2(D. alata L.), 70W34(D. alata L.), 70W35(D. alata L.), 70W47(D. alata L.), 80W02(D. alata L.), 70R16(D. alata L. var. purpurea (Roxb) M. Pouch), 70W41(D. batatas L.), 70W59(D. batatas L.), 70W43(D. japonica Thumb.var. pseudojaponica (Hay.) Yamamoto), 70W37(D. bulbifera L.). There were some differences found in the cork layer, cortex, scleroid, mucilage cell, raphide, resin canal, starch grain characters and powder color of the underground stems. Therefore, these twelve cultivarities/species can be clearly distinguished from each other. The results are shown in the index table given.

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