Wild Sweet Potato
Wild Yam is a common native climbing vine that grows in most of Virginia. It can thrive in many types of habitats, including degraded ones. The scientific species name of villosa means "hairy", because the underside of the heart-shaped leaves are hairy. Many vegetables labeled as "yams" in supermarkets are actually sweet potatoes, even though the two are not closely related. Likewise, sweet potatoes are not closely related to white potatoes. Wild Yam does not produce edible tubers, but it has been widely used in traditional medicines for a variety of ailments.
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