Cinnamon Vine   
Foto info
Cinnamon Vine
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Cinnamon Vine, Chinese Yam, Air potato • Kannada: inasara, nirbatte, tabinere • Malayalam: kachil • Marathi: paspoli, gilandru, choratogu • Oriya: pittalu • Sanskrit: amlardraka, sarpakhya • Tamil: vettilaivalli, venil valli • Telugu: adavidumpatige, adaviyatagatige
Botanical name: Dioscorea oppositifolia    Family: Dioscoreaceae (Yam family)
Synonyms: Dioscorea opposita

Cinnamon Vine is a deciduous perennial creeping and climbing vine, that may reach up to 16 feet in height given support from trees and shrubs. Although it is native to India, it is mistakenly called Chinese Yam. The vines twine from left to right. The leaves are pointed to long-pointed with a heart-shaped base. Leaves can be alternate or opposite in arrangement on the stem. Typically, leaves are 1.5-3 inches long and up to 1.5 inches wide with 7-9 veins. The margins, leaf-stalk and stems are purplish to red in color. The small yellowish-white flowers arise from the axils of the leaves. The flowers are bell-shaped and the male flowers are in bundles, spikes or panicles at the end of the branches. Flowers may have a spicy fragrance similar to cinnamon. Arrangement may be paniculate or spicate. Bulbils or small aerial tubers are produced in the axils of the leaves. The seeds are borne in a three angle membranous capsule.

Identification credit: Shrikant Ingalhalikar
Photographed in Lonavala, Maharashtra.
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