Click on images to enlarge
habit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
climbing habit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
creeping habit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
twining stems with potato-like tubers (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
large stem tuber (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
younger leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of heart-shaped leaf with prominent veins (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of leaf underside (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
elongated flower clusters (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of small white flowers and flower buds (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of twining stems and older flowers (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
Dioscorea bulbifera L. var. bulbifera
Dioscorea bulbifera L.Dioscorea sativa L. (misapplied)Dioscorea sativa var. rotunda F.M. Bailey
aerial yam, air potato, air yam, bitter yam, bulbil yam, cheeky yam, ganmanggu, potato yam, round yam, wild yam, yam
Native to tropical Africa (Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone), Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, the Indian Sub-continent (i.e. Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka), eastern and southern China, south-eastern Asia (i.e. Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea) northern Australia (i.e. northern Western Australia, the northern parts of the Northern Territory and northern Queensland) and Christmas Island.
This species is becoming naturalised beyond its native range in south-eastern Queensland and northern New South Wales.
Naturalised overseas in south-eastern USA (i.e. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida), Hawaii and on several other Pacific islands.
Aerial yam (Dioscorea bulbifera var. bulbifera) is regarded as an environmental weed in south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales. In Queensland this species has become naturalised along waterways and in rainforest in the Moreton and Burnett districts (e.g. along the Enoggera Creek catchment in Brisbane and in the Gold Coast Local Government Area). In New South Wales the invasion and establishment of exotic vines and scramblers was recently declared as a "key threatening process", and aerial yam (Dioscorea bulbifera var. bulbifera) it is listed among the exotic vine species contributing to this threat.
In Hawaii and other Pacific islands it has become naturalised in a variety of disturbed and undisturbed forests. In Florida aerial yam (Dioscorea bulbifera var. bulbifera) is a serious environmental weed and engulfs native vegetation, climbing high into mature tree canopies. Like Madeira vine (Anredera cordifolia), it produces large numbers of stem tubers (i.e. bulbils), which facilitate its spread and make it extremely difficult to eradicate.
Fact sheets are available from Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) service centres and our Customer Service Centre (telephone 13 25 23). Check our website at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au to ensure you have the latest version of this fact sheet. The control methods referred to in this fact sheet should be used in accordance with the restrictions (federal and state legislation, and local government laws) directly or indirectly related to each control method. These restrictions may prevent the use of one or more of the methods referred to, depending on individual circumstances. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, DEEDI does not invite reliance upon it, nor accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused by actions based on it.
Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved. Identic Pty Ltd. Special edition of Environmental Weeds of Australia for Biosecurity Queensland.
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