Bryonia alba

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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Violales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Bryonia
Species: alba
Scientific Name
Bryonia alba
L.
Common Names

white bryony

Overview

Appearance
Bryonia alba is a vigorous herbaceous perennial vine resembling kudzu in appearance and growth habit.
Foliage
Vines emerge each spring from a large fleshy parsnip-shaped tuber and grow rapidly, sometimes to 30 ft. (9.1 m) in a season. Bryonia alba develops a herbaceous vine each year sporting tendrils and palm-shaped, alternate, broadly five lobed leaves which are covered on upper and lower surfaces by small white glands.
Flowers
Flowers are small, greenish-white, with five petals and produced in clusters.
Fruit
Fruits consist of dark-blue berries that can be 0.3 in. (0.8 cm) in diameter when fully ripe. When crushed, the berries contain a viscous fluid and emit a very bad odor.
Ecological Threat
Infestations will overgrow and smother small trees and shrubs forming dense mats which shade out all the vegetation it grows upon. If established in areas with no structure to climb, it will form a dense mat covering the ground. All parts of Bryonia alba contain byonin, a toxin that can cause illness or death. Livestock may also poisoned by consuming the plant.

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