Food Plants International - Plant Fact Sheets Dioscorea bulbifera - Potato Yam
Edible Portion: Tuber, Root, Bulbils, Vegetable
A yam with a long smooth stemmed vine, round in cross section. It winds to the left. It does not have spines. The vine can climb up into trees and grow to long lengths. The leaves are large and round. They are pointed at the tip and round at the base. About 7 veins arise from the tip of the leaf stalk. Leaves can be 14-30 cm across and slightly longer than wide. This yam produces bulbils (potatoes) in the angles of the leaves along the vine. These are often flattened and can be grey brown or purple. Under the ground it has a smaller tuber normally covered with roots. The flowers are large. The male flowers are in spikes up to 20 cm long. The female spikes are usually in pairs. The fruit are winged and about 2.5 cm long by 1.5 cm across. The seeds have wings. The bulbils normally have few fibres through the tissue compared to some yams tubers. The flesh of many varieties is yellow.