Imp. It actually tasted pretty good though. I find it incredible that they’re almost NEVER covered in Florida gardening books. Waste places, compost heaps, fields. Another item that is doing well are the Eddoes along one of my filtered shaded fence rows. Five plants that look like Marijuana: a helpful... How To Identify an Edible Bolete Mushroom. The vines came up and looked gorgeous until the frost nipped them back in December. Here’s how to tell the difference: Since yams are a perennial crop, you can simply plant them one year and then dig themÂ a year or three later when you’re hungry. Also, instead of boiling, I steam them. Chinese Yam (Dioscorea polystachya) is a beautiful perennial vine with shiny heart shaped leaves and strongly cinnamon scented flowers. The website also provides access to a database and images of herbarium specimens found at the University of South Florida and other herbaria. “contains many chemical components, such as mannan, allantoin, saponins, dopamine, batatasine, phytic acid, amino acids, glucoprotein, choline, ergosterol, campesterol and so on” Taste: Very good The yamsÂ I grew in great garden soil with lots of compost and water made big roots in their first year; the ones I grow without any care whatsoever generally took two years to makeÂ big roots. Chinese yam, cinnamon vine Synonyms. Okay…thanks David. Some species are grown JUST for their bulbils, such as the rare edible forms of Dioscorea bulbifera: Those can be cooked and consumed like potatoes and the main root stays in the ground, sending up vines and new harvests of aerial roots year after year. ... this species may be considered for use under specific management practices that have been approved by the IFAS Invasive Plant Working Group. Definitely want to see it. Dioscorea batatas R. Decr. be careful buying seeds for yams. Links . Now that I’ve told you how to grow yams, hunt down some roots or bulbils and get planting! You are saying that the Bulbifera variety has both edible and non-edible varieties? The ubes usually are rougher, with almost an elephant skin type of look to them. You can find winged yams growing wild in the SouthÂ occasionally, with no gardener in the picture. I put a bunch of yams into a big pot full of dirt, then I transplanted the ones that sprouted into my gardens and food forest, resulting in this pile of roots: Not all of your yam minisetts will grow; however, most will root and give you some yields. Yams don’t root all that easily out of the vine and they always want to go up, up, up. The below-ground root really seems to do a lot of its growing into the fall as well, preparing for the winter ahead. Second, I’d like to ask, “Would you be willing to part with a few aerial tubers of your purple ube Dioscorea alata?” I’ve been searching local stores and nurseries for the “real deal” for quite some time, now. [21,43]: Dioscorea batatas Decne. !, seen you harvest purple yam and yams makes me feel as though I was back home in Jamaica! There are the “name” yams you get from the ethnic markets (and often from Publix supermarkets, if you have those in your area), then there are the “water yams,” also known as “winged yams” or, most properly Dioscorea alata, andÂ there are also edible forms of Dioscorea bulbiferaÂ (the dreaded “air potato”) that make airborne roots you can eat, and, of course, there’s the cold-hardy Chinese yam of “yamberry” fame, then…. If you can find yams to grow, grow them! I followed your YouTube video on how to grow, I tried everything but the yam will not germinate. Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. What is your take on this? I am working in Papua New Guinea. form a strategic partnership called N.C. Many yam species have aerial “bulbils” (roots) that you can plant for the next year’s harvest. [24,29,50] Dioscorea oppositifolia L., misapplied The name Dioscorea oppositifolia has been consistently misapplied to Chinese yam in North America. Dioscorea polystachya Turcz. Read our Commitment to Diversity | Read our Privacy Statement. The Alabama Plant Atlas is a source of data for the distribution of plants within the state as well as taxonomic, conservation, invasive, and wetland information for each species. Learn how to grow yams and EAT LIKE A KING! How To Grow Tobacco and Why You Should... Five Easy To ID Florida Edible Wild Mushrooms. I had told you earlier in the year in a post above that I thought the cold snap had killed them off. I find that one way to preserve them is to peel and vacuum seal them. Dioscorea batatas, Dioscorea decaisneana, Dioscorea opposita Conclusions by Zone. About 3′ apart for yams, maybe 2′ for malanga. Maybe interview a chayote farmer. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). Dioscorea. These vines grow two types of edible tubers, small aerial tubers grow where the leaves attach to the stem and a larger tap-root type tuber grows at the base of the plant. Dioscorea polystachya, Cinnamon Vine, Chinese Yam. The most exciting varieties are the ones that produce edible aerial tubers along with the below-ground roots. I usually dig yams when they’re two years old, though I got some pretty big 1-year yams this year (again, in my nicely tended garden). My first impression of this plant was, “what is this flying mini potato?That made it somewhat easy to identify as an air potato, … (Though if you do buy one of my books, you’ll be my friend forever. Axillary clusters of small, white fragrant flowers with cinnamon fragrance in mid to late summer. Dioscorea polystachya Turez. I have started them via cuttings, but that doesn’t help the root development. . Storability:Â Excellent in ground, good on the counter These vine borers take out summer squash here almost at a 100% rate. They love yams there too! Thanks in advance for your time and consideration. Yes – I’ve grown it before. The record derives from WCSP which reports it as an accepted name (record 240732 ) with original publication details: Bull. Wash them well, then wear gloves as you peel them. Dioscorea polystachya is native to China and wasoriginally introduced into North America as an ornamental vine, as food, and for medicinal purposes. Dioscorea polystachya in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. I cook yams just like white potatoes, though I find they cook faster and brown up nicer than potatoes will. I’ve grown yams on fences, on trellises, on an unused clothesline and even on a pollarded sweetgum tree I used as a living trellis. If you watch the folks on YouTube or read articles by folks in the New Orleans area they make it look as simple as dropping them on the ground, walking away and then coming back in a few months to a monstrosity of a vine laden with chayotes. I am going to order another bulbil from Jim around the winter holidays and hopefully have better success this year. The edible tubers are cultivated largely in Asia and sometimes used in alternative medicine. Common Name: Chinese yam, cinnamon vine, Dioscorea oppositifolia, Dioscorea batatas Family Name: Yam (Dioscoreaceae) NJ Status: Emerging Stage 0 – Absent or very rare. I got my small spade out and dug the “purple yam” up for inspection just to see that it looked like it was literally rotting/getting soggy. I would also hunt for them in oriental markets. -DTG. Reply. I would not worry a bit. characteristics of Dioscorea oppositifolia, an invasive plant species in southern Illinois. In some ways Yam C (Dioscorea polystachya) resembles both Yam A and Yam B (Dioscorea alata, D. We did have a rather cold winter this year with a few nights dipping down into the high teens. YBIC. References  Primary references . Cut your yam root into chunks about the size of a peach, dip them in ashes, then plant them. If I am not mistaken your friend, Grower Jim, sells a Bulbifera variety that looks like a space rock that is supposedly edible. D. bulbifera, though, unless it’s a cultivated variety known to be non-poisonous, is not safe to harvest and eat. SYNONYMS: for Dioscorea polystachya Turcz. Naturalistes Moscou 7: 158 1837 . Most people confuse yams with sweet potatoes but they are not the same crop at all. That’s the most common “air potato.” They have a cousin that grows in the same region, Dioscorea alata, which has edible bulbils, though they’re usually too small to bother with. Propagation: Roots, bulbils, cuttings Hi, Chinese Yam, Cinnamon Vine, Dioscorea oppositifolia L. Threat Level Category; Established: Vine: Similar Species ... Air-potato and Chinese yam grow rapidly and occur on open to semi-shady sites. All Right Reserved. I’ll try to cover the basics on how to grow yams, then get into some details on individual species. For the benefit of other visitors to these pages, I will list any relevant comments you leave, and if appropriate, I will update my page to correct mis-information. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. D. oppositifolia is called by some websites D. batata. Give it a try and see. This is good when you have a 40lb monster to consume. Look at these: You can bet that’s not just one year’s growth. Good Morning David: Please clear something up for me. Excellent article. I think more research on those would be valuable. Dioscorea polystachya (cinnamon vine, Chinese yam): This white fleshed edible tuber of good flavor has a hardiness rating of Zones 5 to 10, and will remain alive in the ground overwinter, sending up handsome tall twining shoots in the spring. Would I do better to start them in a pot and put them underneath a tree to climb up or just put them in the ground under the tree? It would almost seem to be a composite. Hi David, I live in zone 4b of the US and was wondering if it would be possible to grow Chinese yam. Got a tiny little tuber. Take care down in the tropics my Green Thumbed Friend. A combination of cold and rain likely did it in. Growing yams is easy and the roots taste great. 1. The skin’s all wrong. Kansas Native Plants • Plant Guide Guide to Plants of Kansas, native & alien. Unlike potatoes, you don’t have to worry about them greening up and poisoning you. Invasive.org is a joint project of University of Georgia - Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA Identification Technology Program, and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Method of preparation: Baked, fried, stewed Anyway … I am looking on the web and cannot find much information much less which USDA zone these will live in. The air potato might be a type of wild yam, but that doesn’t mean you can eat the tubers of the wild, uncultivated plant. David, if I have a ton of Alata bulbils I collected in the fall, how should I store them till spring? If you don’t have bulbils, you need to make “minisetts.” All that requires is a good yam root, a knife, and perhaps some ashes to ward off potential soil pests. If you store them under moist conditions, they’ll start growing roots. Would like to hear your 2 cents on this. Well, I foolishly ignored your advice and tried to pull off D. Alata in my zone 6 Illinois garden. I figured it would be about time for the vines to appear since the Eddoes are sprouting up all along the fence lines where I also planted the “purple yam”.