Air-Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

The 'potatoes' on the vine


Common name: Air-Potato
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Dioscorea
Species bulbifera

Plant Link: http://plantsdatabase.com/go/32235/

Thumbnail by Floridian
Citrus Heights, CA(Zone 9b)

TeeHee...for some reason that plant tickles my funny bone...

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

LOL CS, thank your lucky stars you don't have them!!

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Now that is just fascinating, Floridian! It looks like one of those things someone would import into their yard as a converstation piece, then start boarding up the windows to keep it out.

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

That's about it Weez, we pull seedlings by the dozen in the spring only to turn around and find them climbing trees and fences. It's amazing! Impossible to keep up with AND they drop fruit all season!

This message was edited Tuesday, Nov 12th 7:30 PM

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Does the fruit rot or dry up?

Chariton, IA(Zone 5b)

I pick my fruit or potatoes right before frost and just lay them on a shelf until spring. They are hard as rocks and when the decide to grow, look out. I started some in the greenhouse in pots this year and had to keep cutting them back. They were taking over and very fast.

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

I've never seen a rotten or dried up tuber. We carry bags around and collect them or I toss them into the driveway and drive over them. If I toss them in with cuttings pretty soon I have vines growing...they really are amazing. The vine in the picture is growing up into my saw palmettos. I've cleared them several times this year.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

I suppose they're not a problem for you in your climate, are they Brugie?

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

Sounds like you have to tame them Brugie. Lots of people up north grow them with no problems. Lucky!! LOL

Chariton, IA(Zone 5b)

No problem here. I don't have a lot of tubers on my vines, but enough to give to friends and keep for myself for the next season. For some reason, my friends never get potatoes. My aunt got a few this year, but mine were by far the biggest. Would hate to have to go without this vine. The size and shape of the leaves are worth it. It would never get out of control where the ground freezes like ours does. I dug up a plant one time. What is under them is amazing too. Strangest looking roots you would ever see.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Next time you dig one up, Brugie, take a picture of the roots and post it on the PDB. I'd be interested in seeing that.

Chariton, IA(Zone 5b)

Will have to be next fall. Everything is gone from here now. Hope I can remember that far down the line. :-)

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Maybe Floridian can get a pic the next time she has to beat back the invading forces!

Panhandle, FL(Zone 8a)

Gosh those look familiar. Some of mine get so big I could bowl with them!

(Zone 5a)

Flo that is one unusual looking plant but I don't think I would want it after reading how invasive it is.With my luck even though it gets down below zero here it would still take over my small garden.
I am having enough trouble trying to get rid of the Maypop Passion flower vine.

Chariton, IA(Zone 5b)

Wind, mine have stayed on my trellis every year with no problem. When a runner starts to flop over toward the ground, I just toss it over the top of the trellis and off it goes. Probably didn't have to do that more than a half dozen times this summer. You really would like this vine. It is a challenge to get potatoes on them in our climate.

(Zone 5a)

Brugie I don't think I want to try....too chicken lol.

Chariton, IA(Zone 5b)

They really do not go that crazy here. As long as I can get potatoes on mine for the next year, I'll grow them. I tried to dig the roots and grow them from those tubers, but that didn't work. Had to ask for potatoes for this year, but now I'm set for next year with some really nice potatoes. I've heard they are edible, but I don't think I want to even try. The tubers underground would feed a family. I'm off to another forum now. Have a good one.

(Zone 5a)

Good luck with them and I will be looking forward to seeing some of theose big potatoes.

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

CS: trust me when I tell you that it doesn't tickle when one of those potatoes falls on your head!

Brugie: Have you tried fertilizing them to get bigger potatoes? Maybe the soil is too fertile up there in IA. Perhaps adding sand would be more effective. We've got plenty down here!

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