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Black Bryony (Tamus communis)


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Black Bryony is just starting to grow rapidly. This plant is the only member of the British Yam family. It is not related to white bryony. It is common in woodland edges and hedgerows on well drained soils. Its name comes from its fleshy underground roots that are black. The tubers are poisionous unless boiled. It produces small green flowers. The female flowers are borne on a short spike and have two lobed stigmas and six petals, the male flower six stamens and six petals. Its bright red berries are also poisonous causing mouth burning and skin blistering and sometimes can be fatal. Cattle can become addicted to the plant and sometimes die as a result. The climbing stem always twists to the left. The stem is slender with glossy dark green heart shaped leaves. Picture taken 5th May 2006 at Old Warden, Bedfordshire

7th May 2006 by Diane Earl

Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

plant flower fruit nature wild poison

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