|Bryonia alba subsp. var.||Kudzu of the Northwest, Devil’s Turnip, English Mandrake.|
|Mature White Bryony Foliage.||
White Bryony (Bryonia alba) is a vigorous vine with major destructive potential to native vegetation, forest communities, vineyards, and farmland. Similar to Kudzu in habit, it forms dense mats which shade out the vegetation it grows upon.
An herbaceous, perennial vine of the cucumber family, white bryony is monoecious (male and female flowers found on the same plant) with a tuberous yellow root. Greenish-white flowers are 1 cm across. Long curling tendrils, flowers, and fruit all stem from axils of palmately lobed leaves. The fruit is a 1.5 cm berry which blackens as it ripens, and seeds of which are disseminated by birds.
Bryonia alba spreads by seed.
White bryony thrives in full sun. Due to birds depositing seeds where they like to eat and nest, bryony is prevalent in native hawthorn patches and in windbreak, shelterbelt, riparian buffer, and wildlife plantings.
Common names: Kudzu of the Northwest, Devil’s Turnip, English Mandrake.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Bryonia alba, Linn. Height 6-12 ft.: roots thick, tuberculate, yellowish outside, white within: Lvs. long-petioled: pistillate fls. in long-peduncled racemose corymbs. Eu., Caucasus, Persia.
This invasive weed grows aggressively; it can produce three vines at a time, which each grow up to 15 cm per day. Since the growth pattern of the vine leads it to climb, it emulates the growth pattern of kudzu, and will also simply grow into a mat when it cannot climb. Once it establishes itself, it will climb other plants and trees as well as fences and buildings. Effectively blocking the sun and even rain from its host, the dense shade of the bryony eventually destroys what it covers. If not the lack of sun, then winter snow or heavy rains weighing down the mat of bryony create too much extra weight leading to breakage of host limbs or even felling of entire host trees.
The most effective method of eradicating bryony requires vigilance. By scouting for new white bryony plants every year, and cutting/removing new growth immediately and repeatedly throughout the growing season, one can return in the autumn to locate and sever roots of new plants. In order to kill a plant, the roots must be severed 7 to 10 cm below ground surface to remove the crown and prevent re-sprouting.
The dispersed seeds are viable for many years. Manually removing B. alba before seed production is paramount to successful management.
Birds proved the greatest dispersal mechanism by disseminating seeds. Birds eating the berries deposit seeds beneath other shrubs and fences which provide optimal structures for new Bryony plants to climb.
Pests and diseases
- Young bryony (Bryonia alba) plant.jpg
Young Bryony Plant
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_info/written_findings/bryonia_alba.html
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 http://www.whitman.wsu.edu/weeds/whitebryony.html
- ↑ http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/brywhi77.html
- ↑ http://www.montana.edu/cpa/news/nwview.php?article=7353
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963