My friend Mart sent me a couple of winged yam pictures over the holiday in a “Merry Christmas” e-mail:
The picture aboveis of his Dioscorea alata vines… and here’s what he found underneath them:
Impressive, eh? That’s a jar of peanut butter in the foreground for perspective. That’s ONE winged yam tuber.
Mart also reported that this was a two-year-old vine and that insects leave his vines alone. He also reported that the roots are delicious, particularly with butter like a white potato.
See why I call these puppies a perfect prepper crop?
It’s probably about time to do a new survival plant profile…
So those are the roots? Wouldn't it kill the plant to pull the roots? Or is it so prolific that killing some doesn't make much difference? How long does it live?
Yes – that's the root. It does kill the plant to pull the roots; however, the vine creates multiple hanging "bulbils" that you can plant the next spring. They'll grow underground into big new tubers by the next fall. Bonus: you can eat those hanging bulbils, too, if you have extras.
One other thing: they'll die back every year in the fall, then come right back from the root. It's a perennial that adds new extensions to its underground tuber every year.
It's so difficult to get ahold of these if you can't find them in the wild and don't know anyone with some. 🙁
If you're near Ocala, I can show you where some are growing.
Thank you! But I actually just found a web site that has them, along with a lot of other interesting plants. I just ordered some things from there, so I'll post back when I get it to say if it's legit or not. http://massspectrumbotanicals.com/
Good find. Please let me know – if they're good, I'll link to them.
First off, I love your videos, once I found you on YouTube I went through all of them rather quickly. Thank you for all you do! I’m in Ocala but I haven’t been able to find any growing here. Can you give me some pointers? I know you don’t live in FL anymore but I assume they haven’t gone far in the last few years. Also, can they be planted now? Since they go dormant soon is that a bad idea? Thanks in advance.
Thank you for watching.
They are here and there in the Ocala area. Actually, the best spot for them is a bit north of the city, up in Anthony. I found a nice patch just north of the 4-way stop on Old Jacksonville Highway. Take a right down the little road just after the shopping center with the abandoned Suntrust bank. The long strip of land to the left there usually has a bunch of bulbils hanging over the fence and road.
You can plant them now, yes. They’ll come up in spring.