Dioscorea villosa, commonly called wild yam, colic root, aluka, China root devil’s bones, Mexican wild yam and rheumatism root, is a species of a twining tuberous vine that is native to eastern North America. It is common and widespread in a range stretching from Texas and Florida north to Minnesota, Ontario and Massachusetts. It has also become naturalised in many tropical, subtropical and temperate areas around the world.
This perennial, twining vine grows in damp woodlands and thickets. This plant thrives in sunny conditions and rich soil.
Wild yam has gradually become a rare plant in the wild because of overexploitation and today most of the wild yam roots available are commercially cultivated.