winged yam USDA PLANTS Symbol: DIAL2
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Vines Forbs/Herbs
Dioscorea alata L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Liliopsida: Dioscoreales: Dioscoreaceae
Synonym(s): water yam
Native Range: Trop. Asia (GRIN);

Winged yam 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. 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. The chief means of reproduction is by aerial potato-like tubers (bulbils) located at the leaf axils and by underground tubers. The vine rarely flowers. Winged yam 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.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Foliage; leaves
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; leaves
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; leaves
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s); in August
Fred Nation, Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); habit
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Feature(s); Aerial tubers (bubils)
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Fruit(s); yamlet
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s); habit
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

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Invasive Listing Sources:
Alabama Invasive Plant Council
Faith Campbell, 1998
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council