Dioscorea bulbifera

Family:DIOSCOREACEAE
Species:Dioscorea bulbifera Linnaeus
Common Name:Air Yam; Air Potato
Habitat:**
Associated Ecological Communities:**
Growth Habit:Vine
Duration:**
Category:Vascular
USDA Symbol:**
Plant Notes:Air Potato is an introduced vining perennial in the Yam family (Dioscoreaceae). It is the most widespread member of the genus and is thought to be native to tropical regions of Africa and Asia. In Alabama it is sometimes cultivated for a fast growing shade vine or curiosity. Air Potato has been collected as an escape in the southern third of the state. It often occurs on disturbed sites such as forest edges along roads, on fence rows, and in disturbed woodlands. Air Potato is an herbaceous twining vine from tuberous or cord-like roots. The stems are round or with narrow wings, green or spotted with purple in color, and up to 30 feet in length. The stems climb by twining counter-clockwise. Leaves are petiolate, alternate, ovate-cordate in outline, glabrous, and have entire margins. There are 5-11 large veins that arch outwards from the petiole. The apex of the leaf is long acuminate and forms a “drip tip”. Drip tips are common in tropical species from areas of high rainfall and are thought to aid to removing excess water from the surface of the leaf. Air Potato forms bulbils in the axils of the leaves. These bulbils are brown or gray in color and vary in shape from round to elongate. These bulbils range in size from less than an inch to as large as a soft ball. They serve as a form of vegetative reproduction and grow into new vines when they fall to the forest floor. The bulbils are consumed by humans in some parts of the world. There are several varieties of Air Potato and some contain toxins in the bulbils that must be removed by processing before they can be safely eaten. Caution is advised when consuming any unfamiliar plant. Air Potato has not been observed to flower in Alabama. The starchy tuberous roots of Dioscorea are consumed in many tropical counties where they are called “Yams”. Some Americans refer to the tuberous roots of Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas (Linnaeus) Lamarck) as a yam. The two species are not closely related. Air Potato is listed as an invas
Taxonomic Notes:**
Status:Not Native
References:**
Specimen: View specimen details in the Alabama Herbarium Consortium Specimen Database

** Not applicable or data not available.

Classification

FamilyDIOSCOREACEAE - Yam family
Genus Dioscorea
Species Dioscorea bulbifera Linnaeus - Air Yam; Air Potato

Citation

Citation DIOSCOREA BULBIFERA Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1033. 1753.
Basionym: **
Type: Without data (lectotype: Hermann, Parad. Bat. plate facing p. 217. 1698. Lectotypified by Milne-Redhead, in Polhill, Fl. Trop. E. Afr., Dioscor. 10. 1975.

** Not applicable or data not available.

Synonyms

SynonymFull CitationBasionymType
Dioscorea bulbifera var. vera Dioscorea bulbifera Linnaeus, var. vera Prain & Burkill, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, Pt. 2, Nat. Hist. 10(?): 26. 1914, nom. inadmiss.Dioscorea bulbifera Linnaeus 1753. 
Dioscorea crispata Dioscorea crispata Roxburgh, Fl. Ind., ed. 1832. 3: 802. 1832. INDIA
Dioscorea dicranandra Dioscorea dicranandra Donnell Smith, Bot. Gaz. 19: 14. 1894. GUATEMALA
Dioscorea heterophylla Dioscorea heterophylla Roxburgh, Fl. Ind., ed. 1832. 3: 804. 1832.  
Dioscorea hoffa Dioscorea hoffa Cordemoy, Fl. Reunion 159. 1895. REUNION ISLAND
Dioscorea pulchella Dioscorea pulchella Roxburgh, Fl. Ind., ed. 1832. 3: 802. 1832. BANGLADESH: Chittagong:
Dioscorea tamnifolia Dioscorea tamnifolia Salisbury, Parad. Lond. t. 17. 1806.  
Dioscorea tenuiflora Dioscorea tenuiflora Schlechtendal, Linnaea 17: 608. 1843. MEXICO
Helmia bulbifera Helmia bulbifera (Linnaeus) Kunth, Enum. Pl. 5: 435. 1850.Dioscorea bulbifera Linnaeus 1753. 
Smilax decipiens Smilax decipiens Sprengel, Pl. Min. Cogn. Pug. 2: 91. 1815.  

Specimens and Distribution

This species has been reported in the following counties by the herbaria listed. An overview of the individual specimens are provided in the table that follows. Click on the accession number to view details; click on column headers to sort; choose a county or herbaria to filter the specimen data.

Counties included on distribution map: Baldwin, Butler, Conecuh, Geneva, Houston, Mobile

Counties represented by specimen data listed below:

Herbaria represented by specimen data listed below: ALNHS, AMAL, TROY, UWAL

Range of years during which specimens were collected: -

Barcode / Accession No. County Coll. Date Collector &
Collection No.
Herbarium &
Herbarium Name Used
Image
TROY000025388 Baldwin 02 Jun 2006 Todia, Gena
s.n.
TROY
Dioscorea bulbifera Linnaeus
UWAL0033013 Houston 24 Nov 2015 Diamond, Alvin R.
27089
UWAL
Dioscorea bulbifera Linnaeus
TROY000044849 Geneva 14 Sep 2017 Byrd, Cameron
1532
TROY
Dioscorea bulbifera Linnaeus
AMAL00013691 Baldwin 02 Jun 2006 Todia, Gena
AMAL
Dioscorea bulbifera L.
TROY000043874 Houston 24 Nov 2015 Diamond, Alvin R.
27089
TROY
Dioscorea bulbifera Linnaeus
TROY000050913 Conecuh 02 Sep 2019 Diamond, Alvin R.
29079
TROY
Dioscorea bulbifera Linnaeus
UWAL0004537 Baldwin 02 Jun 2006 Todia, Gena
s.n.
UWAL
Dioscorea bulbifera L.
ALNHS00003668 Mobile 9 Dec 2015 Barger, T. Wayne
SP#2124
ALNHS
Dioscorea bulbifera L.
UWAL0043050 Baldwin 18 Oct 2001 Larsen, Harry S.
756
UWAL
Dioscorea bulbifera L.
TROY000041852 Butler 06 Sep 2014 Diamond, Alvin R.
25500
TROY
Dioscorea bulbifera Linnaeus
UWAL0019595 Butler 06 Sep 2014 Diamond, Alvin R.
25500
UWAL
Dioscorea bulbifera Linnaeus
First Page Previous Page Next Page Last Page
Records per Page: