Dioscorea oppositifolia (Chinese yam) is an exotic perennial vine invading natural areas in the temperate regions of the eastern United States. Rapid early-season growth of D. oppositifolia is facilitated by an extensive tuber system. Plants can reach heights greater than 370 cm, as the plants climb trees and other vegetation. Shoot length increased 3.6 cm/d from late May to mid-August under field conditions, and primary and secondary tuber length increased 0.28 and 0.2 cm/d, respectively. This indicated rapid vegetative growth and substantial food reserves to form new plants in subsequent years. Dioscorea oppositifolia plants also formed aerial bulbils of 0.8- to 1.2-cm diameter, which are important in dissemination of the species over geographical areas. A field study indicated incomplete control from manual removal, clipping by hand, or glyphosate (2% v/v) application to control D. oppositifolia, although glyphosate was the most effective. Additionally, the use of herbicides was more efficient from a time-utilization perspective than either manual removal or clipping. In a separate study, glyphosate application at flowering was more effective in reducing D. oppositifolia growth the year after application as compared with glyphosate applications soon after emergence. Under greenhouse conditions, however, glyphosate at 0.84 kg ae/ha provided <15% control. The ester formulation of triclopyr at 2.5 kg ai/ha provided >90% D. oppositifolia control. Metsulfuron provided 31% control, and mesotrione provided 36% control and at higher rates may reduce D. oppositifolia growth. Several other herbicides having diverse modes of action provided minimal control of D. oppositifolia.
Nomenclature: Glyphosate, triclopyr; Dioscorea oppositifolia.
Additional index words: Chinese yam, cinnamon vine, Dioscorea batatas, exotic plants, invasive plants, natural areas.
Abbreviation: NIS, nonionic surfactant.