White Guinea Yam

Dioscorea rotundata

Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Dioscorea (dy-oh-SKOR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: rotundata (roh-tun-DAY-tuh) (Info)



Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade





Foliage Color:

Dark Green

Light Green

Medium Green


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Dunnellon, Florida

Orange Springs, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 25, 2018, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This species of yam is an important food crop in parts of the Indian subcontinent and particularly in equatorial W. Africa, where the starchy tuber is cooked and pounded into what resembles firm mashed potato for use as an accompaniment to stewed dishes. Fortunately for the horticurious, the tuber is widely exported in a dormant, but otherwise viable state.

A visit to an international supermarket revealed a mid-sized tuber beginning to show signs of emergence from dormancy. In commerce, the tuber is transectioned into smaller pieces, which are planted. This effectively multiplies the number of tubers that can be harvested at the end of the lengthy growing season. In this case, I planted an entire sprouting tuber intact to preserve its full energy. The result was a fast-grow... read more


On Oct 8, 2002, Michaelp from Piney Flats, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant grows fast and looks nice /Tubers compact spherical or cylindrical light brown on outside white /cream and yellow fleshed/stems are smooth/this var. does produce airial tubers, and can be propagated by planting the smaller tubers to small to sell or eat,or cuting the top off the big ones ,planting that and eating the bottom.I have had some success rooting stem cuttings-should be mulched to protect from extreems,[excess heat, cold ,or moisture loss/prefers rich well drained soil/needs to be kept moist all summer/must be protected from frost/can be brought in and stored, warm and dry for the winter.excelent eating quality./must be cooked to destroy toxin.also grows well in large tubs of mulch,and these can be taken inside for winter.
2/8/04-I just dug up some of the root... read more