BugwoodWiki Article

Dioscorea bulbifera L.


Dioscorea bulbifera is an herbaceous, twining vine that can grow to lengths exceeding 60 ft. (18 m). It invades open areas in the sub-tropical southeastern United States.
The leaves are alternate, 8 in. (20.3 cm) long, broadly-heart shaped with prominent veins that resemble greenbrier leaves. The rounded stems are thin and wiry.
The vine rarely flowers.
The chief means of reproduction are aerial, potato-like tubers (bulbils) located at the leaf axils.
Ecological Threat
Dioscorea bulbifera can form dense masses of vines that cover and kill native vegetation including trees within a variety of habitats such as forest edges, hammocks, and many disturbed areas. It was introduced from Africa for food and medicinal purposes in the early 1900s. It is a common and widespread food crop throughout most tropical regions of the world.


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EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Invasive List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their invasive species list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Invasives List

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Dioscoreales
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Dioscorea

Other System Links

Plants: DIBU
Bayer: DIUBU
GRIN: 14186
ITIS: 43369

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
air potato, air potato, bitter yam, air-potato, air yam


Category: Vines
Category: Forbs/Herbs