Dioscorea alata L.
White Yam
Life   Plantae   Monocotyledoneae   Dioscoreaceae   Dioscorea


Associates · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Chaconiaceae  Goplana dioscoreae-alatae @ BPI (1)

Goplana dioscoreae @ BPI (4)
Mycosphaerellaceae  Cercospora carbonacea @ BPI (4)

Cercospora pachyderma @ BPI (4)

Cercospora ubi @ BPI (1)
Phyllachoraceae  Phyllachora ulei @ BPI (2)
Pucciniaceae  Uromyces taubertii @ BPI (1)
_  Kmetia dioscoreae @ BPI (1)

Uredo dioscoreae-alatae @ BPI (5)

Uredo dioscoreae @ BPI (1)

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You have requested an unaccepted/invalid name entry, the corresponding accepted/valid name is presented here as the result.
Kingdom Plantae  
 Phylum Magnoliophyta  
 Class Liliopsida  
 Order Dioscoreales  
 Family Dioscoreaceae  
 Genus Dioscorea  
  Dioscorea alata    L., 1753 
Provider: Ching-I Peng 
hierarchy tree    download xml    download txt    Chinese Page    
Synonyms: Dioscorea alata globosa Dioscorea alata purpurea Dioscorea alata tarri Dioscorea alata vera Dioscorea atropurpurea Dioscorea colocasiifolia Dioscorea eburina Dioscorea eburnea Dioscorea globosa Dioscorea javanica Dioscorea purpurea details
Citation: Flora of Taiwan 2nd ed. 5: 88, 2000
Name Code: 201761
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You are here: Home / Plant Profile

Dioscorea alata L.
water yam

General Information
Symbol: DIAL2
Group: Monocot
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit : Forb/herb
Native Status : L48   I
PB   I
PR   I
VI   I
Data Source and Documentation
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Plants-NRCS Logos
green round image for nativity Native blue round image for introduced Introduced ocre round image for introduced and nativity Both white round image for no status Absent/Unreported
image for native, but no county data Native, No County Data image for introduced, but no county data Introduced, No County Data both introduced and native, but no county data Both, No County Data
Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   





Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass Liliidae
Order Liliales
Family Dioscoreaceae – Yam family
Genus Dioscorea L. – yam
Species Dioscorea alata L. – water yam

Subordinate Taxa

This plant has no children

Legal Status

Noxious Weed Information
This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. Click on a place name to get a complete noxious weed list for that location, or click here for a composite list of all Federal and State Noxious Weeds .
Florida white yam Noxious weed
U.S. Weed Information
Dioscorea alata winged yam This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Click on an acronym to view each weed list, or click here for a composite list of Weeds of the U.S.
STATE Assorted authors. State noxious weed lists for 46 states . State agriculture or natural resource departments.
FLEPPC Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. 1999. Invasive plant list . Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Florida.

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (DIAL2)
Flora of North America (DIAL2)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (DIAL2)
USDA Forest Service Fire Effects Information System (DIAL2)
USF Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (DIAL2)
Related Websites
Ecoport (DIAL2)
FAO-Animal Feed Resources Information System (DIAL2)
HI-Plants of Hawaii (HEAR) (DIAL2)
IN-Center for New Crops and Plants Products (DIAL2)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover

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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Dioscoreaceae | Dioscorea

4. Dioscorea alata Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1033. 1753.

White yam, greater yam, water yam

Plants tuberous; tubers 1—many, stalked and ± deeply buried, elongate (highly polymorphic), often massive, weighing up to several kg, flesh starchy, white or variously colored. Stems twining clockwise, climbing up to 20 m, broadly winged, 4-angular, producing bulbils up to 4 cm in diam. in leaf axils, wings often purplish. Leaves alternate proximally, opposite and ultimately decussate distally, 6—16 × 4—13 cm; petiole ca. as long as blade, winged, base clasping, basal lobes stipulate, growing as extensions of wings, less than 1 mm wide; blade 5—7-veined, ovate, glabrous, base typically sagittate, margins entire, apex acute to acuminate. Staminate inflorescences axillary, 1—2 per axil, paniculate, fasciculate; panicles bearing flowers singly, bracteolate, in a zigzag pattern along rachis, internodes less than 2 mm; rachis to 25 cm, secondary axes 1—3(—6), fasciculate, less than 3 cm, each subtended by deltate-ovate bracteole shorter than 1 mm. Pistillate inflorescences solitary, 4—8(—20)-flowered, 6—35 cm, internodes ca. 1 cm. Staminate flowers: perianth whitish, cup-shaped; tepals ca. 1 mm, connate at base in 2 subequal whorls, outer widely ovate, inner narrower, apex obtuse to rounded in both; fertile stamens 6 in 2 equal whorls; anthers longer than filaments, thecae distinct, not spreading. Pistillate flowers: perianth lightly colored; tepals broadly ovate, ca. 1 mm, fleshy; staminodes 6, smaller than fertile stamens. Capsules not reflexed at maturity, broadly ovate, ca. 2 × 3.5 cm. Seeds winged all around. 2n = 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80.

Flowering late summer; fruiting into late fall. Near ponds, marshes, drainage canals, waste areas; 0 m; introduced; Fla., Ga.; Southeast Asia; cultivated worldwide.

Dioscorea alata is the most extensively cultivated of the edible yams. There are hundreds of cultivars worldwide (L. Degras 1993; D. G. Coursey 1967), varying in the color and consistency of the flesh. The bulbils may also be eaten, but the large tubers are favored. Typically the plants are propagated vegetatively. The species is not known to exist in the wild, and its putative origin is from Southeast Asia. It has escaped from cultivation in the southeastern United States, recorded here from Florida and Georgia, although it is likely to be found elsewhere in the Gulf states. The plants seldom flower in the flora area; I observed no staminate flowers at all, and very few pistillate ones. Although the fruits do set seed, the seeds are frequently unviable.

Updated: 2017-09-24 17:44:56 gmt
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