Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Are Yams Nightshade Plants?

Seiya Kawamoto/Lifesize/Getty Images

Nightshades are plants that belong to a group called solanaceae. While potatoes are considered nightshades, yams are not. Some doctors believe that there is connection between eating nightshades and pain and inflammation conditions like arthritis.

Identification

A yam is a starchy root that belongs to the Dioscorea genus. Originating in the Caribbean, yams have brown, scaly skin with white meat. The name came from the African name "nyami."

Toxicity

Since yams do not belong to the nightshade family, they do not contain the toxic substance solanine, which can interfere with a brain enzyme and cause problems with muscle function.

  • Nightshades are plants that belong to a group called solanaceae.
  • Since yams do not belong to the nightshade family, they do not contain the toxic substance solanine, which can interfere with a brain enzyme and cause problems with muscle function.

Types

Yams are not the same thing as sweet potatoes, although people use the name interchangeably. Sweet potatoes, which also do not belong to the nightshade family, have soft, orange flesh and a sweet flavor.

Plants & Vegetables Called Nightshade?

Members of the nightshade family produce several different toxins, called alkaloids, that are dangerous to humans, pets and livestock. Another alkaloid found in nightshades is nicotine. It is present in small amounts in vegetables such as eggplants and tomatoes, and in greater concentrations in nightshades that are members of the Nicotiana genus, such as tobacco. When you grow a nightshade crop in a particular location, you should not grow any member of the nightshade family in that location the following year. These plants often grow in plantings of related crops such as tomatoes, potatoes and peppers where they harbor insects and diseases that infest the cultivated crops. flowering tobaccos (Nicotiana spp.) You can grow all three as annuals in cooler zones, and they bloom from spring until frost.

  • Yams are not the same thing as sweet potatoes, although people use the name interchangeably.
  • Sweet potatoes, which also do not belong to the nightshade family, have soft, orange flesh and a sweet flavor.
Garden Guides
×