Description for Dioscorea villosa
Dioscorea villosa is a species of a twining tuberous vine that is native to eastern North America. It is common and widespread in a range stretching from Texas and Florida north to Minnesota, Ontario and Massachusetts.
|Common name||Flower colours||Bloom time||Height||Difficulty|
|Yams||Yellow-green||Seasonal bloomer||1 to 2 feet||Easy to grow|
Planting and care
I first encountered wild yam on a walk around what became the North American Native Plant Society nature reserve, the Shining Tree Woods, in autumn 12 years ago. Next spring that vine had many seeds, and I received permission to take a few.
The seed of wild yam will germinate readily. When you start your plants, you will find that within a few years they will spread by both a more robust root system (which is like five-millimetre or two-tenths of an inch-thick pasta, interconnected versus discrete, and a dark reddish colour) and new shoots from these roots, or by seeds being dispersed by wind and creatures.
|Full sun to part shade||Well-drained soil||Medium||25 degrees C||Apply any organic fertilizer|
Caring for Dioscorea villosa
- Collect seed from the vines in late fall or anytime in winter
separate the seed from the seed capsules
in a plot in the garden, clear away any plants there now, and loosen the soil:
The plot will need a few hours of sun during the spring season mark the garden plot! Scatter the seed on the bare ground, cover with a sprinkling of garden soil and some leaf litter:
Typical uses of Dioscorea villosa
Special features: It is suggested that Dioscorea be limited to pot culture.
Ornamental use: The plant is used for ornamental purpose.
Medicinal use: Native Americans and early herbalist had many uses for this plant including the treatment of many female and childbirth related problems. It was also used to treat various gastrointestinal problems, muscle spasms, various painful conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism.
There seems to be no scientific evidence of its effectiveness for these conditions. Nonetheless, plants of this genus are valuable to modern medicine. Many of our modern steroids are manufactured from diosgenin extracted from them.