Wild Yam (Dioscorea quaternata)
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A popular woodland vine who's rhizome is often sought by women for it's "estrogen-like" properties.
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Wild yam is native to North America with a natural range from New England south and west to Texas and Minnesota. It is a cold-hardy herbaceous perennial found in mixed hardwood forests and grows to an average mature height of nine to fifteen feet. The leaves are cordate (heart-shaped) at the base of the plant, with the upper leaves more ovate. The inflorescence arises from the axils of alternate or whorled leaves. Small greenish-yellow flowers, in drooping racemes or spikes, bloom from April to October. The female plants produce winged seed capsules. Wild yam requires moist, well-drained soil and moderate sunlight to flourish. The root is traditionally the medicinal part of the plant and is harvested in the fall.
Wild yam does well in a woods cultivated environment. Woodland species that are often growing with wild yam include mayapple and black cohosh. Their presence is a good indication that the site is appropriate for wild yam. Wild yam prefers partial shade and moist, warm conditions and can grow in different soil types ranging from loam to clay. A forest with mixed hardwoods would be ideal. Soil moisture is important throughout the growing season. Wild yam needs to climb, so when choosing a site, plan for trellises to be constructed.
MoonBranch Botanicals specializes in offering the highest quality fresh and dried botanicals, teas and live plants native to the great eastern hardwood forest of North America.
Please note: Plants native to temperate climates, especially those shipped bare-root, are generally best transplanted during the cooler months (October - March) while in or near a state of dormancy. While we make every attempt to ship as needed by our customers, please realize that there is a greater risk of transplant loss during the hot Summer months. Also realize that many species may lose their above ground portions the current season while the roots remain alive, producing new growth the following Spring.
Disclaimer: Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease.