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  Cinnamon vine  

Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:
cinnamon vine Dioscorea batatas

Cinnamon vine is also known as Chinese yam or potato vine. This plant is composed of herbaceous or slightly woody vines with fleshy or woody roots. Vines twine from left to right and may reach 13 feet in length. Leaves are alternately arranged along the stems (lower leaves may be opposite). Each leaf is oval, with a long tapering point, concave sides and a heart-shaped base. New leaves may have a bronze "tint." Green-yellow flowers are produced from June through August. The fruit is a membranous, three-angled capsule. Cinnamon vine is often confused with
wild yam, however the vines of wild yam twine upwards from the right to the left, while those of cinnamon vine twine from the left to the right. Cinnamon vine is a native of Asia that has spread from cultivation in some areas of southern Illinois.

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