New vines quickly sprout from the bulbils of Chinese yam. These drop off the vine and are carried to new locations by water or rodents or in topsoil moved for construction purposes. Even a small piece of a bulbil will sprout into a new vine, the way a small piece of a potato can create a new plant. The bulbils can overwinter and form new vines in spring.
The leaves of Chinese yam are usually opposite (sometimes alternate toward branch tips), green, with 7-9 parallel veins, fiddle-shaped or heart-shaped, with pointed tip and two lobes near the base of the leaf.
Climbing false buckwheat is a rampant annual or perennial climber that often forms curtainlike masses of twining red stems, covering shrubs and trees. Look for it in moist, open or shaded bottomlands, alluvial valleys, and floodplains.
Climbing false buckwheat is related to smartweeds, buckwheat, knotweeds, and rhubarb. A vigorous nonwoody vine, it is common in low, moist areas. This patch was photographed along the Katy Trail just north of Jefferson City.
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