The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum). The softer, orange variety is commonly marketed as a “yam” in parts of North America, a practice intended to differentiate it from the firmer, white variety. The sweet potato is very distinct from the actual yam, which is native to Africa and Asia and belong to the monocot family Dioscoreaceae. To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires that sweet potatoes labeled as “yams” also be labeled as “sweet potatoes”.
In a dry, room temperature location. (Above 55 F is important – cooler temperatures will result in chilling injury to the sweet potatoes.) Keep in paper bags or baskets out of direct sunlight.