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Yam is the common name for some species in the genus Dioscorea (family Dioscoreaceae).These are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania. There are hundreds of cultivars among the cultivated species. The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) has traditionally been referred to as a “yam” in parts of the southern United States and Canada even though it is not part of the Dioscoreaceae family. The vegetable has a rough skin which is difficult to peel, but which softens after heating. The skins vary in color from dark brown to light pink




Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th ed., vol. 28) (New York, NY: The Encyclopaedia Britannica Company, 1910)


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