Pictogram Guide · Mouse over pictogram for definition

Dioscorea alata, Purple Yam, Winged Yam

Dioscorea alata

Purple Yam, Winged Yam
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Origin: Southeast Asia
Vine or creeperFull sunSemi-shadeRegular waterEthnomedical plant.
Plants marked as ethnomedical and/or described as medicinal, are not offered as medicine but rather as ornamentals or plant collectibles.
Ethnomedical statements / products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We urge all customers to consult a physician before using any supplements, herbals or medicines advertised here or elsewhere.EdibleSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

Dioscorea alata has a winter dormant period when the stems die back to the ground. After dormancy, the underground tubers give rise to stems which can quickly grow to 30 feet long. Dioscorea alata is sometimes grown in gardens for its ornamental value.

The color of purple varieties is due to various anthocyanin pigments. The pigments are water-soluble, and have been proposed as possible food coloring agents. Uncultivated forms however are reported to be bitter and even poisonous.

Similar plants:

Link to this plant: