Black Bryony; Tamus communis

Black Bryony, has  a scientific name of Tamus communis,  but is also sometimes referred to as Dioscorea communis. The name Bryon is a Celtic name. In Celtic the meaning of the name Bryon is Brave or Virtuous. though why this plant is Brave or virtuous I don’t know, perhaps it links to the Heart shaped leaf???

There is another plant called White Bryony, which it is not related to, but they do grow in a similar way.

They both climb up through other plants but White Bryony has tendrils whereas Black Bryony does not, it just wraps its stem around other plants. Both have similar shaped leaves but the leaves of Black Bryony are more heart shaped and definately more shiny and hairless. White Bryony has dull leaves that are a bit more lobed and with hairs on. They both produce red fruits but again the fruits of Black Bryony are shiny whereas the fruits of White Bryony are dull and again hairy.

Black Bryony is quite poisonous, it is in the same family as Yams and also has an underground tuber like a yam but it is also poisonous.

The flowers are quite small and arranged in a sort of string, they are significantly smaller than those of White Bryony though to be honest neither are spectacular. Also the plants are either male or female  (dioecious).

It is reasonably distributed though out England but becomes quite rare once north of Manchester and is rare in Scotland.

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