Is Dioscorea Polystachya Edible?

Is Dioscorea Polystachya Edible?

Dioscorea Polystachya tubers can be eaten raw (grated or sliced), although most other yams must be cooked before eating (due to harmful substances in the raw state).

Peeling must first be used to remove the skin (or by scraping off using a hard-bristled brush). This may cause minor discomfort to the hand, and wearing a rubber glove is recommended, but if an itch develops, apply lemon juice or vinegar.

To neutralize irritating oxalate crystals found in their epidermis and avoid discolouration, the peeled entire tubers are quickly immersed in a vinegar-water solution.

The raw vegetable is starchy and tasteless, but when sliced or grated, it becomes mucilaginous and can be served as a side dish or added to noodles, for example.

Is Dioscorea Polystachya Invasive?

Dioscorea Polystachya was introduced to the United States as a decorative or food crop in the 1800s. It and other invasive yam species are now growing naturally there.

It’s a problem in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where it’s “rapidly expanding,”, especially into the Tennessee Valley, where different native, hybrid, and/or invasive non-native variants of morning glory and bindweed, as well as invasive kudzu and dodder, have all become problematic and look similar to the fast-moving and frequently mishandled tubers.

Residents seeking to eat the tuber plant their vines in unprotected land while residents seeking removal chop the tops off of vines at ground level and compost or turn them into mulch for years before realizing this only makes their problem much worse and that no weed killers on the market, the state recommended or otherwise, do the job.

The newest option from Florida for customers in Florida and nearby states who are experiencing property damage and desire to be free of these plant pests is to request free Air Potatoes Beetles.

However, because of different government rules and a lack of others, the beetles continue to evade Tennesseans.

It is mainly common in damp habitats. It is more frost-hardy than other yams and may be found as far north as New York in moderate regions.

Can Dioscorea Polystachya Be Used As A Medicine?

Creams and dietary supplements derived from the related Dioscorea villosa are said to contain human hormones and are marketed as a therapy for a range of conditions, including cancer prevention and treatment of Crohn’s disease and whooping cough.

The claims, however, are incorrect, according to the American Cancer Society, and there is no evidence to support these chemicals being either safe or effective. Traditional Chinese medicine has also made use of Huáishn.

How Do I Care For Dioscorea Polystachya?

Dioscorea Polystachya, sometimes known as Chinese Yam, is a low-maintenance plant.

Light: Full sun is preferred, although the moderate shade is OK.

Moisture: Moderate water needs.

Soils: Humus-rich, well-drained soils.

It is hardy in USDA Zones 5-11 for subtropical and temperate environments.

Dioscorea Polystachya, is more resistant to frost and cooler conditions than other yams, which is why it has been successfully introduced and established on several continents.

An extremely resistant plant that can readily withstand temperatures as low as -20°C.

Many subtropical and temperate locations across the world grow it for the eating of its starchy tubers. Their delicious tubers are harvested in late summer to early fall and stored in a cool, dry area during the winter.

Tubers can be left in the ground and will grow the following spring again.

If the male and female plants are close together, remove the fruits before they ripen to prevent wind dispersal. Harvest the tubers and bulbils before they ripen and fall to the ground during the first year of growing.

In general, there are no major pests or illnesses. Keep an eye out for snails and caterpillars.

How Fast Does Dioscorea Polystachya Grow?

Dioscorea Polystachya is a twining vine that may climb on and over surrounding plants, generating a dense blanket of leaves that shadows other plant species.

It may suffocate practically all short-statured plants and, when it grows into larger trees, can become heavy enough to bend and break the stems of smaller trees.

It expands quickly by the vegetative reproduction of its axillary tubers (bulbils).

Manual removal of the whole tuber may provide adequate control in tiny isolated spots.

Hand-pulling newly sprouted bulbils and being sure to remove the full bulbil can also give effective control, but these manual procedures are time and labor-consuming.

Repeated cutting may effectively control huge infestations, but it may take several years of follow-up treatment.

Herbicides are presently the most effective way to manage D. polystachya. Depending on the time of application, triclopyr (Garlon 4®) or glyphosate (RoundUp® or Rodeo®) herbicides used as a foliar spray will kill bulbils, restrict future bulbil development, and progress towards destroying mature vines.

Does Dioscorea Polystachya Climb?

Chinese yam is native to eastern Asia, grown for its edible roots or tubers, and utilized in traditional Chinese medicine.

It is a climbing vine that swiftly invades undisturbed areas, reducing biodiversity and causing harm to the branches of huge trees and plants.

Small isolated areas of this plant can be removed manually; however, bigger infestations require numerous herbicide applications.

There are no established populations of Chinese yam in Canada. It has expanded throughout the eastern United States since its arrival in North America.

Chinese yam may be found in various environments, including woods, ravines, mountain slopes, rivers, and disturbed regions.

What Does Dioscorea Polystachya Look Like?

Dioscorea polystachya vines can reach lengths of up to 5 meters. They thread counterclockwise.

The leaves may grow up to 11 cm in length and width. They have lobed bases and may have lobed borders on bigger specimens.

The arrangement is flexible; they can be alternately or oppositely placed or carried in whorls. Warty spherical bulbils under 2 cm long emerge in the leaf axils.

The bulbils are sometimes known colloquially as “yam berries” or “yamberries.” New plants arise from bulbils or pieces of bulbils. Chinese yam blooms have a cinnamon smell.

The plant produces one or more spindle-shaped or cylindrical tubers. The biggest may weigh up to ten pounds and grow up to one meter underground.

Dioscorea polystachya is more resistant to frost and cooler conditions than other yams, which is why it has been successfully introduced and established on several continents.

Is Dioscorea Polystachya Invasive In The USA?

This plant may be found all across East Asia. It is said to have arrived in Japan in the 17th century or earlier.

It was first introduced to the United States in the nineteenth century for culinary and cultural purposes, but it is now considered an invasive plant species.

The plant was brought to Europe during the European Potato Famine in the nineteenth century, and cultivation continues to this day for the Asian food market.

The most major method of invasion into North America has been through the intentional introduction of a decorative garden plant.

Chinese yam reproduces in North America by little above-ground bulbs called bulbils, which are disseminated by rats collecting and munching on them.

When Should I Plant Dioscorea Polystachya?

The Chinese yam has a one-year growth cycle and should be planted between winter and spring.

Growing it traditionally involves utilizing smaller tubers, top cuts of larger tubers, or branch cuttings. The first two procedures can yield up to 20 cm (7.8 in) long tubers.

The latter yields smaller tubers (10 cm or 4 in) that are often transplanted for the following year.

After 7 to 9 months after replanting Chinese yam tubers, their leaves begin to dry (a frequent occurrence in tuber-producing plants), indicating that the tubers are ready for harvest.

In most home gardens, just what will be consumed is picked, with the remainder remaining in the pot in wet soil.

Does Dioscorea Polystachya Treat Snakebites?

  1. polystachya leaf juice can be used to treat snakebites and scorpion stings. Its roots contain diosgenin, a chemical often used to produce progesterone and other steroid medicines.

Dioscorea polystachya has also been traditionally used as a contraceptive and in the treatment of numerous genitary (genital?) organ diseases, as well as for asthma and arthritis (Plants for a Future 1997).

Dioscorea polystachya has been and continues to be popular as an attractive plant. The blossoms have a cinnamon scent, and the twining vine looks great in arbors, trellises, and porches.

What Is The Management Control Of Dioscorea Polystachya?


Like with other prolific invaders, the key to successfully controlling D. polystachya is to avoid new infestations or to control them as soon as feasible.

Because D. polystachya appears to have a restricted range of dissemination, keep an eye out for any new infestations that may emerge from nearby planted vines.

In North America, Dioscorea polystachya has a wide range of environmental adaptations and few pests and predators.

It has a high asexual reproductive vigor and is difficult to control once established. The possibility for effective treatment is significant if the invasion is managed early on.

The possibility for large-scale restoration of D. polystachya-infested wildlands is probably moderate.

Mechanical And Manual Control

Small isolated patches of D. Polystachya can be efficiently controlled using manual and/or mechanical plant removal methods.

These approaches, however, are exceedingly time and labor-intensive because of the huge deep tuber’s difficulty in physical removal.

All tuber parts must be carefully removed otherwise, resprouting will occur. Populations must also be monitored for several years after plant removal since bulbils in the soil might germinate over time.

There is no current information on how long these bulbils will be viable.

Chemical Control

In big infestations, herbicide treatment appears to be the most effective method of controlling D. polystachya.

Some herbicides can successfully kill all new germinating bulbils with a single application, but additional treatments are likely required to totally kill huge subterranean tubers that once supported enormous adult vines.

How Do You Propagate Dioscorea Polystachya?

Dioscorea polystachya may reproduce sexually (through seed production) and asexually (by creating axillary tubers called bulbils).

Although D. polystachya has not been seen to reproduce sexually in North America, it can rapidly expand its territory through the multiplication of its bulbils, which look like little potatoes.

Similar Posts