Family, Yam. Color, pale greenish yellow. Flowers, of two kinds, the staminate with 3 or 6 stamens and 6parted perianth; pistillate, with a 3-celled ovary which becomes in fruit, a 3-valved, 3-winged capsule. Fertile flowers hang in drooping racemes; staminate, in long, drooping panicles, 3 to 6 inches long; all from the axils. Leaves, petioled, opposite or in whorls of fours, broad, heart-shape at base, very acute at apex, 9 to 11-nerved, thin, 2 to 6 inches long. June and July.
Among the twining vines which make dense thickets this is our only member of the Yam Family. Most of the species are tropical, of which four form a staple article of food for the half-civilized peoples of Africa and Malaysia. The fleshy rootstocks are eaten baked, boiled, or fried. These plants are cultivated in Japan, Siam, and the East Indies. D. villosa our species, has a large, tuberous root. It is found in damp thickets from Rhode Island to Florida, and westward to Texas. 4,000 feet high in Virginia. Fruit remains on the vines all winter.