Fighting Batman: Singapore's battle against the toxic yam

Volunteer Lee Jing Wei cuts the stem of a Zanzibar yam at Dairy Farm Nature Park, on Dec 30, 2021. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
The Zanzibar yam overwhelming plants and trees at Dairy Farm Nature Park, taken on Dec 30, 2021. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
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SINGAPORE - On the edges of a tropical rainforest, where there are vines draping branches and climbing plants snaking up trunks, the insidious grip of a smothering weed could be easily missed.

Yet, the invasive Zanzibar yam (Dioscorea sansibarensis) - described as the Batman plant for its bat-shaped leaves - is threatening the regeneration of Singapore's forests by depriving native plants of sunlight.

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