air-potato USDA PLANTS Symbol: DIBU
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Vines Forbs/Herbs
Dioscorea bulbifera L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Liliopsida: Dioscoreales: Dioscoreaceae
Synonym(s): air potato, air potato, bitter yam, air-potato, air yam
Native Range: Tropical Asia; tropical and warm temp. eastern Asia (BAIL);

Air potato 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 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.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

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


Feature(s); Bulbils (aerial tubers) and alternate foliage in September
Fred Nation, Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Amy Ferriter, State of Idaho, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

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

Feature(s); bulbils
Karen Brown, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Karen Brown, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Feature(s); bulbils in December
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; in July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, 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
Archbold Biological Station
Faith Campbell, 1998
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.