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Ornamental Yam
Dioscorea discolor

Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Dioscorea (dy-oh-SKOR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: discolor (DIS-kol-or) (Info)


Vines and Climbers


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

By simple layering

From bulbils

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bryceville, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Homer, Louisiana

Charleston, South Carolina

Deer Park, Texas

New Waverly, Texas

Seadrift, Texas

Woodville, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 6, 2010, wormfood from Lecanto, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Last winter I was so bummed out to lose so many plants to 20* temps. Then this little sprout came up out of the hanging pot and just renewed my enthusiasm.
I believe ford3728 is talking about the air potato, Dioscorea bulbifera. Not a nice plant.


On Sep 1, 2007, Annette_M from New Waverly, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have this plant growing in a full, dry shade situation, in acid soil. I love the contrast of the leaves among my mostly green plants. It's very vigorous and requires very little care, but I have to keep it in check. It is trying to take over this particular bed.


On Oct 25, 2003, ford3728 from Homer, LA wrote:

This is an Indo-Malayan vine (the variety I have) and it is not variegated nor velvet/fuzzy. The leaves are bright green, shiny, and heart shaped. Everyone that sees it wants to know what it is and if I'll share it. I have never found a bloom on it and the potatoes form at the base of the leaf structure. The potatoes range in all sizes, sometimes soft ball size or larger. All sizes that I have planted will come up and grow, no matter how small. I gather the potatoes in the fall or when they sometimes fall off. They do fall very easily at the least bump. I keep them inside in a basket and in the spring they start sprouting so you know it is time to plant them. Unless you keep them in a cool place they may start sprouting before the last frost. In zone 8 where I live, they have neve... read more