Modified from “Yams that Occur in Florida” by W. Overholt, Professor Emeritus
UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center
There are six species of yams (plants in the family Dioscoreaceae, note that sweet potatoes are not yams in a botanical sense) that occur in Florida, including air potato and 3 other exotics, and two native species, Dioscorea floridana and Dioscorea villosa. The table below provides information and characteristics for each species. Air potato can be distinguished from the other species by the shape of the leaf and stem, the presence of bulbils and the right to left twinning of the vine.