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Sweet Pototes And Yams, Are They Related?

Updated on April 22, 2012
Sweet Potatoe
Sweet Potatoe | Source
Yam | Source

Sweet Potatoes and Yams are both flowering plants they are not botanically related. Yams have one seed leaf while Sweet Potatoes have two seed leaves, Sweet Potatoes are actually from the Morning Glory family while Yams are from the Dioscoreacae family.

Yams are related to lilies and grasses. They are native to Africa and Asia, vary in size and are starchier and drier than Sweet Potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes come in a variety of colors, ranging from yellow to red, purple and even brown. They can be either firm or soft. The firm Sweet Potatoes remain firm until they've been cooked. The soft variety become softer and are moist in their texture.

People then to be confused when determining the difference between these two because when they were first grown in the United States they grew the firm variety first and when they later began to grow the soft variety they called them yams to to distinguish the difference between them.

Because these are indeed differences between them they are now required to be labeled correctly when being sold in the United States. This is a requirement of the US Department of Agriculture. What you usually find in grocery stores are sweet potatoes because Yams are mainly sold on the international market.


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    • Catzgendron profile image

      Catzgendron 5 years ago from North Chelmsford

      You're welcome. I love sweet potatoes!! I've had canned yams and am not a big fan.

    • jaswinder64 profile image

      jaswinder64 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada.

      Good information on Sweet Potatoes And Yams. I know about Sweet potatoes, because we eat them, but I never ate Yams. So I came to know the difference between both of them. Thanks.

    • Catzgendron profile image

      Catzgendron 5 years ago from North Chelmsford

      You're welcome. I am glad I was able to provide the information.

    • Rosie2010 profile image

      Rosie Rose 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thanks for answering my question, Catzgendron. Good answer.

      Have a nice day,


    • glmclendon profile image

      glmclendon 5 years ago

      Thanks I did not know that. Good info. I guess you learn something everyday.

      Voted up.

      Stay Well

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Cool! Thanks. I've always kind of wondered about this, but the difference between sweet potatoes and yams was never one of those things I remembered to look up. Voted intersting.