BugwoodWiki Article

winged yam
Dioscorea alata L.

Overview

Appearance
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.
Foliage
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.
Flowers
The vine rarely flowers.
Fruit
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.

Selected Images


5126008
5126008

winged yam
Dioscorea alata
Infestation
Chris Evans
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5126013

winged yam
Dioscorea alata
Feature(s)
Chris Evans
5126022
5126022

winged yam
Dioscorea alata
Infestation
Chris Evans
5126029
5126029

winged yam
Dioscorea alata
Infestation
Chris Evans
5160078
5160078

winged yam
Dioscorea alata
Foliage
Forest and Kim Starr
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5163003

winged yam
Dioscorea alata
Flower(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
5163004
5163004

winged yam
Dioscorea alata
Foliage
Forest and Kim Starr
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5163005

winged yam
Dioscorea alata
Flower(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
5163006
5163006

winged yam
Dioscorea alata
Foliage
Forest and Kim Starr
5163009
5163009

winged yam
Dioscorea alata
Fruit(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
5163010
5163010

winged yam
Dioscorea alata
Plant(s)
Forest and Kim Starr
9006015
9006015

winged yam
Dioscorea alata
Plant(s)
Fred Nation

Maps


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

State Regulated List

Taxonomic Rank

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

Other System Links

Plants: DIAL2
GRIN: 14175
ITIS: 43372

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
water yam

Categories

Category: Vines
Category: Forbs/Herbs