Just UglyPosted: July 1, 2013
The first view of this ugly thing in the yard prompted a second look. Is it an animal dropping? Something dead? Hopefully not a live animal. After dismissing those theories, it was time for a closer look. Turns out that it is a rather large Air Potato. (Enlarge the photo for true ugliness.)
This hideous bulb does make some beautiful leaves. Its name is Dioscorea bulbifer or Air Potato. It is a climbing vine that will cover the fence. Potato-like bulbs form on its stems and drop to the ground to start new vines.
In the Automatic Garden, the vine dies back every year. It is highly invasive in Florida and Alabama and is banned in those states. The Potato Vine definitely needs to be grown in controlled conditions. Many grow it in hanging pots.