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Encyclopedia > Yams
Dioscorea (Yam)

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Dioscoreales
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Dioscorea
For the Levantine god of the untamed sea, see Yaw.

Yam is the common name for members of the genus Dioscorea (family Dioscoreaceae). Some species are cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa and Asia. The word "yam" is derived from Portuguese inhame or Spanish ņame, which are ultimately from the West African nyami, meaning "to eat". They are used in a similar fashion to potatoes, and are sometimes called a potato substitute, though in those areas where yams are grown, potatoes are the newer vegetable.

In the Philippines, a variety of yam (known as "ube") is eaten as a sweetened dessert (called "halaya"), and often with other fruits and milk as part of halo-halo.

Yam tubers can grow 7 feet in length and weigh up to 150 pounds.

The sweeter varieties of sweet potato (Ipomoea) are often called "yams", causing much confusion. In the United States, for example, these sweet potato "yams" can be purchased at any store while the true yams are rarely seen except in specialty (largely Asian) markets.

External links

See also the United States Department of Agriculture's Plant Profile (http://plants.usda.gov/cgi_bin/plant_profile.cgi?symbol=DIOSC) for a complete list of 28 yam species.

  Results from FactBites:
YAM Support Site - Welcome - www.yam.ch (796 words)
Here we're proud to present the results of our ongoing development on YAM and provide our users a modern web-based platform to get support for their daily use of their favourite mail client.
Please note, that these pages are fully dynamic and are generated out of a wiki engine to which any user can contribute.
Now that sourceforge.net has finally provided subversion source-code management facilities, the YAM project is proud to announce that we successfully switched from the old and limited CVS repository use to the more modern subversion (SVN) services.
CGIAR: Research & Impact: Areas of Research: Yam (729 words)
Yam, any of several plant species of the genus Dioscorea (family Dioscoreaceae) is native to warmer regions of both hemispheres.
Yams are cultivated throughout the tropics, and in parts of the sub-tropics and temperate zones.
Depending on the variety, a yam's flesh may be various shades of off-white, yellow, purple, or pink, and the skin from off-white to dark brown.
  More results at FactBites »



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