Dioscorea bulbifera L.

U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Vine

Synonym(s): air potato, air potato, bitter yam, air-potato, air yam

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

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Invasive Species Management Plans for Florida - University of Florida - Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests - USDA Forest Service
Florida National Forests Invasive Plant Series - USDA Forest Service
Element Stewardship Abstract - The Nature Conservancy
Identification and Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas - University of Florida