winged yam USDA PLANTS Symbol: DIAL2
USDA ARS GRIN: 14175
ITIS: 43372

Dioscorea alata L.
Taxonomic Rank: Liliopsida: Dioscoreales: Dioscoreaceae
Synonym(s): water yam

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




Bugwood Center Developed by The University of Georgia - Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
Last updated on Monday, July 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM