Dioscorea villosa L.
Family: Dioscoreaceae
colic-root, wild yam, yam root
Dioscorea villosa image
Walter Lewis  
Etymology: Dioscorea: for Dioscorides, ancient Greek naturalist
Plants: perennial, herbaceous vine up to 18' tall; stems twining; roots brownish rhizomes
Leaves: broad, heart-shaped base, pointed tip, strong ribs, netted veins
Flowers: white to cream, tiny, 3-6-parted; inflorescence either widely-branched clusters of 1-4 male flowers per node or 2"-4" spikes of female flowers; blooms May-Aug.
Fruits: greenish-gold, 3-winged capsule with very wide, winged seeds
Habitat: moderate moisture; woods, roadsides, river-bottom forests
Conservation Status: Native