Invasive exotic plants hurt ecosystems by displacing native plants and animals. Many, such as air potato, have been introduced as landscape plants and have gotten out of control. It is now illegal to plant air potato, but the plant spreads quickly on its own.
Air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera) is a vigorously twining vine, which grows from an underground tuber. The stems can rapidly grow to 60 feet in length. Air potato leaves are heart-shaped and can be up to eight inches long.
The plant forms hundreds of bulbils that look like potatoes (hence the common name), that drop to the ground and sprout more plants. Bulbils are round and light brown, with small nubs on them, and can range from the size of a pea to five inches across.
If you think your landscape contains air potato, contact your county Extension office for information about getting rid of the plant.
- Air Potato
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