The wild, toxic Dioscorea bulbifera bulbils look like this: Those contain high levels of diosgenin, and that will mess you up. Aerial tubers should be thoroughly to destroy toxic alkaloid. The edible Dioscorea bulbifera bulbils look like a Gaudi sculpture. @2017 - PenciDesign. In his book Perennial Vegetables, Eric Toensmeier has several pages about this specific crop with great detail on how to grow and prepare it. Totally agree the release of the beetle being a bad idea. Unless eating some sends me to visit my maker! The database and code is licensed under a Another Dioscorea that grows (too) well around here is sansibarensis. How’s that for ambiguous? So I do know two things. Buy them? Looks different from the wild ones, doesn’t it? By winter, in strong vines, the subterranean tuber can get about as big as a baseball. Title Vegetables in the Tropics Publication … . Just boiling will not do it. Can you eat the leaves of either variety of the air potato plant? If I were the beetle, I’d stick around. The ones here in Florida…. The air potatoes are full of steroids and hormones that will make you sick. Thank you so much for this article! Known as “air potatoes,” these guys can mess you up. All rights reserved. I think the smaller one I planted was that kind. Learn how your comment data is processed. The bitter principle was absorbed from the yams into the ash, which was washed off before the yams were eaten. For Aborigines in other areas there were different rules or taboos which determined who could eat cheeky yam. They are easy to differentiate. I live in Tampa, Fl and moved to V.M. Great article. They dig up two kinds of yams, one called “long yam” and one called “cheeky yam.” They steam roast them for a couple of hours then eat the “long yam” immediately but not the cheeky yam.” They grate the cheeky yam then leach it in a flowing stream overnight. Eric Toensmeier mentions edible Dioscorea bulbifera in at least one of his books. In some places they have been cultivated for many years as a food crop. Let me tell you right now I have not yet dug up a Yam B tuber, but not from lack of trying. A fourth says none of them are edible anyway. in-the-air bulbils… wrongly called “air potatoes” apparently vary in toxicity, some edible some not. Do you know if this is worth the time in trying to remove the climbing vine or am I blowing against the wind? Josh, if you’ve got purple bulbiferas, I have some friends who are very interested in getting some. Maybe the variety we had wasn’t either the African nor the Asian, but South American. P.S. They require good drainage, and therefore, are often planted on mounds or ridges. The bulbils of some D. bulbifera are reported as edible but they require special preparation as mentioned above. Our dog recently died due to the ingestion of something, we think in the yard…after many tests we are still in the dark. I would be eternally grateful. I highly recommend that book for info on this plant. But my favourite was the “cara-roll”: my mom would could and mash the air potato, add flour and milk, mix everything and then bake little rolls like dinner rolls. the bulbils (I think) are green with some pimples on them and turn brown the next days. Can’t wait to hear about your Cocoa farm adventure. Dioscorea bulbifera is a perennial vine with broad, alternate leaves, and two types of storage organs. Five plants that look like Marijuana: a helpful... How To Identify an Edible Bolete Mushroom. Did you see the articles on Yam A and Yam C? The only things worth boiling water for are some herb teas and eggs. Why You Should Keep Mango Trees Small and... Why Becoming a Master Gardener Isn’t Worth It, More Victims of the Satanic Grazon Herbicide, Survival Plant Profile: Cassava – King of Staples, Velvet Beans: A Natural Testosterone Booster, The Edible Blue Mushroom: Lactarius Indigo. It seems one country’s medicine is another country’s “invasive weed”! That it was a potential food crop is debatable. My husband and I both broke out in a wicked rash while trying to clear a pile of air potato vines that had wandered over from a neighbor’s yard. Richard Morris. For two reasons. I just moved in to a lovely cottage in an older neighborhood in a south Louisiana city. We ate some and it taste quite sweet. They grow on their own with no care and have spread all over the state. One of Mear’s episodes was about the Aborigines in Australia. He said there wasn’t really anything left by the end of it and it wasn’t worth the effort. The D. nipponica is also said to produce edible above ground ‘tubers’. The poison released by grated tubers placed in a stream acts to stun fish at fairly long distances (AlShehbaz and Schubert, 1989). The leaves are singular. I asked him to ask her how she does it. What is the vibe’s shape? Useful Tropical Plants Database 2014 by Tubers are also cooked. I don’t know what you mean about the vibe… explain a little better. The D. transversa (trans-VER-sa)  like the D. alata, twists when it grows, lower left to upper right, he Z-twist (as does Yam C, the Dioscorea polystachya mistakenly called D. They are a noxious weed in Central Florida. That us often around the end of July/beginning of August around Gainesville. Can my pet goats eat this plant w/o any harm,,,? I ordered some of his DVDs and one of his books about wild edibles in England. This perplexed me a great deal and I checked and rechecked numerous times to make sure I hadn’t accidentally cut a different vine. I really don’t understand the way these researchers think. Will I get sick, or what ? A friend of mine says he’s eaten small ones raw with no ill effects. I finally know exactly what the heck is trying to take over my yard!! And, in someplaces even after being careful in selecting the Yam B in-the-air bulbils and preparing them the are fed to a dog first to make use. They are full of steroids and hormones which is what sends you to the hospital should you eat even cooked ones. Clockwise and counterclockwise are based upon the position of the viewer. She has been growing them for years and refers to them as purple yam. Edible Landcaping in Va is another source of unusual and interesting edible plants. No botanical name was given for either yam. Also, bitter principles in food poorly destroyed or denatured at 212F or 100C. In the spring/summer, when they start growing, that stored energy is used to grow a vine; the more stored energy, the longer/higher the vine can grow before the leaves open up. Thanks for your excellent work. Here, check out my new video on the edible Dioscorea bulbifera: Seriously – isn’t that the coolest thing ever? That is one of coolest things I’ve seen. The vine up in the trees failed to whither. who ever wants these please let me know. With the availability of billies and saucepans a new method has developed. They are all over my 1 1/4 acre property… not so wise to propagate …. 1. Apparently, almost any purple root vegetable is called “ube yam.” Most of what I was shown when I asked for it was a species of Ipomoea also known as the purple Okinawa sweet potato (has white skin). Hot out of the oven with some butter… heaven! I consider the in-the-air bulbils of the D. bulbifera as not edible. I have a young son and wanted to identify the vines, of course, to make sure they pose no threat of any type. The tubers of edible varieties often have a bitter taste, which can be removed by boiling. they said that it is Japanese Potato and can be eaten. Anyway, my aunties showed me how to use the edge of a hot ash fire to cook small long yams (D. transversa) or for larger yams, just turn them often over hot coals. Some of the leaves on these are very large. Asian carp in the Mississippi river…and they jump for you…huge boats with huge nets scooping them up as they jump right in…then huge facilities process huge amounts of fish fertilizer until we fish them to extinction. oppositifolia.) The plant is native to Africa, southern Asia, Maldives, and northern Australia. I’d ask him to do it again but he’s past 90 and doesn’t get around well anymore. What variety was sent to Orlando was not recorded. Ybor neighborhood a year ago. with help from TIME OF YEAR: Fall, September to December. Poisonous varieties of the plant are often used by farmers to confuse and deter potential thieves through the planting of unpalatable varieties within the main crop variety (Martin, 1974). If I eat them, are they poisonous ? The peeled yams were sliced into centimetre-thick pieces, coated with a ‘batter’ of wet ash from burnt river gum bark and cooked in a bush oven for several hours or overnight. Never heard of them being that color. I love your Website! Some people in N. Fl have purple alatas growing, and you can sometimes find the regular white ones in uncultivated settings. The aerial bubils were collected for planting (elongated, brown, and hairy) The tubers were washed, scrubbed, peeled, and boiled. Instead they decided to release a voracious pest that will render future cultivation of edible air potatoes difficult at best. The Hidden Danger of Straw Bale Gardening No... 8 Reasons Why You Should Be Growing Chayote... Tempest in a Teapot Meets Jack Broccoli; Plus,... Identifying Edible Air Potatoes in the Wild. The neighboring house is for sale and has an untended garden overgrowing onto my property. Poisons are derived from alkaloids (i.e., dioscorine), saponins, sapogenins and/or tannins present in tubers of a given variety (Al-Shehbaz and Schubert, 1989; Martin, 1974). We peeled and sliced it like potato. The flesh is quite tricky because of the latex so I soaked it first. Dick has eaten the D. Bulbifera undergound root and I have eaten the D. Alta’s underground root. My wife made a good comment this morning on researchers simply diving in where angels fear to tread, rather than looking at Creation as filled with potential that can be stewarded to feed people. Thank you. Why is Yam B, the D. bulbifera second best? I had heard of the existence of a purple-fleshed D. bulbifera from S.E. Yam A, the Alata on let with in-the-air bulbils, on the right is Yam B, with in the air-bulbils. Title Atlas of Medicinal Plants. They are nutritionally superior to cultivated sweet potato or white potatoes and are low GI and high fiber. Am i in the wrong? It is an attractive vine with large heart shaped leaves and does look like a domesticated ornamental & is lovely the way it decorates the lattice on the patio. Often there’s not much to find, but it’s still there. Alas, we don’t know what varieties. Ajna Fern It was just unnecessary. Ive never felt any ill effects. carries two species of Dioscorea, or ‘Cinnamon Vine’ both sold as producing edible tubers: D. batatas, also called ‘Chinese Yam’ (two varieties/cultivars); and D. nipponica or ‘Japanese Yam’. Any chance that they will survive MD winter? I once decided I wanted to shrink the stand of them at a botanical garden I was employed at. Green with pimples? They need much higher temperatures and a ground oven can reach 400F and slowly fall through the temperature range to eating heat. Growing Raspberries and Blackberries in Florida. Among other things, I cut one large vine near the ground and put garlon on the stump. In Australia, to remind you, the Aborigines roast it for a couple of hours, grate it, and then leach it overnight in a flowing stream. The small “air potatoes” are seemingly everywhere on the ground and ready to sprout new vines galore.

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