Dioscorea bulbifera - The Awesome invasive Pest

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

Air potato is an herbaceous, twining vine that can grow to lengths exceeding 60 feet. It invades open areas in the sub-tropical southeastern United States. The leaves are alternate, long (8-12 inches), wide and 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.

Note: This plants is highly invasive, but with the responsible proper care and maintenance a showy garden specimen as you can see from my backyard pictures.

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