Dioscorea villosa

Scientific Name: Dioscorea villosa
Common Name: wild yam
Global Conservation Status: G5 - Secure

Delicate heart-shaped leaves arranged in a whorl (like spokes on a wheel) help identify this modest vine that twines counter-clockwise and dies back each year.
Photographer: Matt Jones

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A native vine, not to be confused with the non-native invasive vines Chinese yam / cinnamon vine (scientific name Dioscorea polystachys or Dioscorea oppositifolia or Dioscorea batatas, which twines clockwise, has cinnamon-scented flowers, and has invaded the eastern U.S.) or air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera, whose fast-growing vines smother trees in Florida and other parts of the U.S.'s deep south, and form small aerial tubers).