Native & Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas & Georgia


473

Herbaceous vine
Perennial
Dioecious

Non-native: China
Documented growing wild in GA NC SC

Common in Mountains & Carolina Piedmont, uncommon elsewhere in GA-NC-SC

Look for it in thickets, disturbed areas, bottomland forests, per Weakley's Flora

map
To see a detailed map, click here


INVASIVE

This plant is causing problems in natural areas outside its native range, according to authorities such as:

Alabama Invasive Plant Council, 2012
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2006
Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2013
SC Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2014
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2009
US Forest Service Southern Research Station
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2014

 

LEAVES:
Simple
Alternate or opposite

FLOWER:
Summer
Greenish-white
Unisexual
6 tepals
6 stamens
Inferior ovary

FRUIT:
Summer
Capsule

 

TO LEARN MORE about this plant, look it up in a good book!



Spermatophytes (seed plants): Angiosperms (flowering plants): Monocots: Dioscoreales

WEAKLEY'S FLORA (11/30/12):
Dioscorea polystachya   FAMILY Dioscoreaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH (MISAPPLIED) PLANTS NATIONAL DATABASE:
Dioscorea oppositifolia   FAMILY Dioscoreaceae

SYNONYMOUS WITH VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (1968) 043-01-001:
Dioscorea batatas   FAMILY Dioscoreaceae

 

COMMON NAME:
Cinnamon Vine, Chinese Yam


Click or hover over the thumbnails to see larger pictures.

image of Dioscorea polystachya

JK Marlow    jkm120428_873

April    Oconee County    SC

Clemson Forest

Lvs heart-shaped to triangular w elongated tips; basal lobes often angled, per A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests.

image of Dioscorea polystachya

JK Marlow    jkm120428_877

April    Oconee County    SC

Clemson Forest

Leaf veins slightly indented (appearing quilted), converging at tip & base, per A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests.

image of Dioscorea polystachya

JK Marlow    jkm120428_887

April    Oconee County    SC

Clemson Forest

Perennial from large vertically-oriented tubers, per Weakley's Flora.

image of Dioscorea polystachya

JK Marlow    jkm120428_892

April    Oconee County    SC

Clemson Forest

Stems terete, per Weakley's Flora.

image of Dioscorea polystachya

JK Marlow    jkm140528_249

May    Greenville County    SC

Swamp Rabbit Trail

Leaf margins halberd-shaped, the sides with a concave portion, per Weakley's Flora.

image of Dioscorea polystachya

JK Marlow    jkm140623_206b

June    Greenville County    SC

Swamp Rabbit Trail

Rachis of male spikes obviously zigzagged; flowers sessile, per Flora of China.

image of Dioscorea polystachya

JK Marlow    jkm140625_350

June    Greenville County    SC

Cleveland Park

image of Dioscorea polystachya

JK Marlow    jkm140625_353

June    Greenville County    SC

Cleveland Park

image of Dioscorea polystachya

JK Marlow    jkm140730_209

July    Greenville County    SC

Cleveland Park

Small potatolike aerial tubers (bulbils) form in leaf axils in late summer, per Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern Appalachians.

image of Dioscorea polystachya

JK Marlow    jkm140809_449

August    Greenville County    SC

Swamp Rabbit Trail

image of Dioscorea polystachya

JK Marlow    jkm141005_039

October    Greenville County    SC

Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve

image of Dioscorea polystachya

James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org    bug_5421977

November        

image of Dioscorea polystachya

Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org    bug_2120019

Month Unknown        

Dies back in winter but able to cover small trees in a year, per A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests.

image of Dioscorea polystachya

Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org    bug_2156083

Month Unknown        

image of Dioscorea polystachya

Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org     bug_5307033

Month Unknown