help identifying an invasive weed

Asked June 19, 2017, 12:16 PM EDT

I have an incredibly aggressive vine growing all over my yard that I can't seem to definitively id. It grows incredibly fast, turns yellow and goes dormant in the fall/ winter and has a tuberous root. I was almost certain it was air potato or winged yam based on the little bulbils which form in the fall and look exactly like the pictures I see of air potato online. They don't seem to get bigger than about an inch. I don't see anything about air potato outside of florida and the deep south. My house dates to the 1880s is it possible it could have been planted as an ornamental? If it's not air potato any idea on what it might be and how to at least slow it down? Thanks so much!

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

We think this is Chinese yam (Dioscorea polystachya). It is possible that it was once planted as an ornamental. It is now considered invasive in Maryland.
https://www.invasiveplantatlas.org/subject.html?sub=4527

The following fact sheet offers options for controlling it:
https://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive_plants/weeds/chinese-yam.pdf

ckc