Sweet potato vines are perennials, or plants that live for at least two years. They originate in tropical and subtropical areas. Sweet potato vines produce large edible roots that come in a variety of colors; the most recognizable root form is bright orange.
Sweet potato roots are often confused with yams in color, shape, texture and flavor. Botanically, they are very different. Yams are monocots and are native to Africa and Asia, while sweet potatoes are dicots and are native to Central and South America. Sweet potatoes are nutritious and are considered an important food crop. Although a tropical plant, sweet potatoes are successfully grown in the states of Louisiana and North Carolina.