Dioscorea bulbifera L.
Synonym(s): air potato, air potato, bitter yam, air-potato, air yam

Air potato 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 chief means of reproduction are aerial, potato-like tubers (bulbils) located at the leaf axils. The vine rarely flowers. Air potato 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. Air potato is a common and widespread food crop throughout most tropical regions of the world.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources