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White Bryony


Leaves and Stem

bryony leaf and tendril 1

White Bryony is a member of the cucumber family.  It is a perennial and a climber.

It has palmate lobed leaves that are a rather pale, dull green; long tendrils also arise near the base of the leaf stalk (visible in adjacent image).

Bryony uses these tendrils to scramble through hedges etc.


Flowers and Fruits

white bryony flower

The flowers occur in clusters.  There are separate male and female flowers.  The male flowers are larger than the female ones.  They have 5 sepals, and 5 green veined petals, and 5 stamens (one free and two joined pairs).

The female flowers are smaller and have 3 downy stigmas.  Bee pollinated.

The petals have small hairs on them - see image.

bryony flower hairs


Ecology and other notes

bryony plant

White bryony is sometimes known as wild cucumber or dog's cherries (referring to the red berries that form) - its scientific name is Bryonia alba.

 

The leaves, the root and berries are poisonous - see also Plants for a future