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Black Bryony (Tamus communis)


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This plant is the only member of the Biritsh Yam family. It is not related to white bryony. It is common in woodland edges and hedgerows on well drained soils. It 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 poisionous 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. It flowers May - July. Picture taken 3rd June 2006 at Felmersham, Bedfordshire.

6th Jun 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 wildlife

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