Chinese yam USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: DIOP
Dioscorea polystachya Turcz.

Chinese yam is an herbaceous, twining vine that is often found climbing. It invades open to shady areas in the eastern United States. The leaves resemble greenbrier leaves. They are alternate or opposite, 8 in. (20.3 cm) long, wide, long petiolate, heart to fiddle-shaped with prominent, parallel veins. Leaves are usually more rounded when young or on young plants and fiddle-shaped farther along the stem and on older plants. The rounded stems are thin and wiry. The chief means of reproduction are by aerial potato-like tubers (bulbils) located at the leaf axils and by underground tubers. The vine rarely flowers. Chinese yam can form dense masses of vines that cover and kill native vegetation including trees within a variety of moist disturbed habitats. It was introduced from Asia for ornamental, food, and medicinal purposes and escaped cultivation in the mid 1990s.

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