USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 28 March 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
Illustration courtesy of University of Florida/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. Used with permission.
What is Air Potato?
- Veins arise from leaf base
- Not noticeable
- Twining vine
- Up to 70+ feet long
- Reproduce by tubers
- Tubers at leaf axils
- Large underground tubers up to 6 inches across
Where Does it Grow?
Air potato is native to the tropical regions of Asia.
Is it Invasive?
Air potato is non-native to the United States, and it is an aggressive invader species.
Pros and Cons of Air Potato
Air potato is extremely toxic and should not be consumed. It can grow very quickly (up to 8 inches per day). Typically, it climbs to the tops of trees and has a tendency to block the sunlight reaching native plants and suffocate them. This plant is non-native to the United States, and tends to disrupt the ecosystem by pushing the native species out of their habitat.
This plant is not native to North America, but has naturalized in much of the United States. While it is not illegal to possess this plant in Texas, it should not be introduced into new water bodies and should be treated with herbicide when present.