The Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) vine can grow to be 15 feet long during a single season. This plant can be found throughout the middle and eastern portions of North America. The leaves are ovate or cordate in shape, with clear veins and entire margins.
The lower sets of leaves grow in whorls from the stem.
Wild yam plants can have either male or female flowers. The flowers are quite tiny as you can see in the following image of the vine with its developing flower buds (the little light green dots hanging below the leaves).
Here’s a close view of some staminate (male) Wild yam flowers.
In the fall, the leaves turn bright yellow.
This is when the rhizomes are harvested for medicinal purposes.
Watch this video for more photos of Wild yam. You can see how it grows, look at more photos of the staminate flowers as well as the seed capsules, and observe how it dies during the fall months. The images can help you accurately identify this plant whenever you have an opportunity to see it.