winged yam, water yam
- Dioscorea alata is an herbaceous, twining vine that can grow to lengths exceeding 30 ft. (9.1 m). It invades open to shady areas in the extreme southeastern United States.
- Leaves are opposite, 8 in. (20.3 cm) long and narrowly heart-shaped with long petioles. The stems are square with the corners compressed into wings.
- The vine rarely flowers.
- The chief means of reproduction is by aerial potato-like tubers (bulbils) located at the leaf axils and by underground tubers.
- Ecological Threat
- Dioscorea alata can form dense masses of vines that cover and kill native vegetation including trees. It was introduced from Asia as a possible food source in the early 1800s. In some countries it is presently being cultivated for medicinal uses.
- University of Florida, IFAS Extension, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
- Flora of North America, www.eFloras.org
- Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
- USDA NRCS PLANTS
- USDA ARS GRIN
Images from Bugwood.org