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

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

State Regulated List

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

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Dioscoreales
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Dioscorea
Subject: Dioscorea bulbifera L.

Synonyms and Other Names

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


Plants - Vines