Dioscorea quaternata

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Plant types and subtypes: Climbers, Perennials, Bulbs

Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, loam, clay, sand

Height: 5'-20'

Bloom Time: April, May, June, July, August, September, October

Bloom Color: green

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Additional Tags: climbing, deer resistant, fall interest, medicinal, ornamental foliage, shade garden plant, showy fruit, woodland plant

Dioscorea quaternata (fourleaf yam)
  • Dioscorea quaternata (fourleaf yam)
  • Dioscorea quaternata (fourleaf yam)
  • Dioscorea quaternata (fourleaf yam)
  • Dioscorea quaternata (fourleaf yam)

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Description

Dioscorea quaternata

Also known as:

fourleaf yam

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Scientific Synonyms:

Dioscorea glauca, Dioscorea quaternata var. glauca, Dioscorea villosa var. glabrifolia

Description

Dioscorea quaternata is a twining herbaceous vine, with attractive, heart-shaped leaves. They are up to 4" across, with veins radiating from the base that are so accentuated as to look like pleats when side lit. The species is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants. although the flowers are unremarkable on either, the female flowers give way to conspicuous 1" across, three-angle seed capsules that turn golden as they mature.

Cultivation

Wild yam is an excellent lightweight vine for shade. It is herbaceous, meaning it does not have above ground woody parts, and dies back to the ground after the growing season. It is however a vigorous grower, reaching up to 20' by summer's end. It is easy to grow and adaptable. It prefers soil that is rich in organic matter, and moist to mesic conditions. This vine will grow larger if exposed to more sunlight, but this will increase its water requirements. Zones 4-9

Propagation

Propagate from seed or root cuttings and divisions.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Liliidae
Order Liliales
Family Dioscoreaceae Yam family
Genus Dioscorea yam
Species Dioscorea quaternata fourleaf yam