Dioscorea batatas
“Chinese Yam”
“Cinnamon Vine”

Dioscorea batatas “Chinese Yam” “Cinnamon Vine”

Medicinal, attractive and edible “Chinese Yam” is a vigorous, easy, twining climber to 9’ tall. Perennial, with lovely heart-shaped leaves, it makes clusters of small, white flowers that emit a pleasant and distinctive cinnamon scent. In more tropical climates, it makes a huge, good-tasting tuber, but probably not here. Grow it for pretty leaves - let it scramble up a tree, arbor or trellis. Enjoy its scent. It’s also fun for its “Air Potatoes” (tubercles), pea-sized baby tubers (edible and quite tasty) that form in the leaf axils and fall off when ripe. “Chinese Yam,” also known as “Shan Yao,” has a long history of medicinal use (including stimulating appetite, tonifying lungs and kidneys, lowering blood sugar, menopausal symptoms, emotional instability and more. More?) Besides all that, it can be grown as a houseplant. Easy to propagate from the “Air Potatoes.” Prune to ground in Spring.


Brt. Shade

Avg. water

Perennial Vine
USDA zones 5-11