help identifying a vine with red berries

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by foovay, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. found growing near the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I just have an interest in wild flowers and plants and found this beautiful vine with red berries this week.
    What is it?

    Thanks for your help

    foovay
     

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  2. CcDry

    CcDry Active Member

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    Location:
    East San Francisco Bay
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    I tried Google searching:
    Flora red-berries Oklahoma vining | vine leaf
    Flora Oklahoma key
    Flora Oklahoma online key


    Descriptions might include what your Pic shows
    "Simple" leaf
    Leaf edge looks "Entire". Or very fine serrations of some type. Lf tip is "Acuminate".

    Alternating leaves (on stem, at least at flowering end).

    I'm lousy at fruit/flowering structures so I can't help on that. (2 examples of inflorescence type: "Corymbose" "Scorpoid" is one I recognize, because it's distinctive to my eye, unlike this structure. Scorpoid infl. is a good indicator for Boraginaceae.)
    Fruit/flower from "leaf axils".

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    Identifying region per this map may help.
    http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/okwild/images/ecoregions.jpg

    Also inset pix of the fruit cut open, and overall form of plant. Size comparison (a coin or better a ruler.)

    Could tell us the time of year (month) when pic taken.

    ==============
    In the OK Google search I saw a Lonicera (honeysuckle) sp. name, but L. leaves are usually opposite (paired on stem) and clasping (term?) or close to stem. However, your pic's fruit looks translucent red, as many L. have.
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I think it is Cocculus carolinus, commonly known as Carolina coralbead or snailseed. It is difficult to be absolutely certain, as the leaves are not fully developed and so may look different from the adult foliage. I agree that the fruit do look similar to honeysuckle (Lonicera). As suggested by CcDry, a little more information would be helpful to be certain - e.g., whether the vine is woody at the base or herbaceous throughout, a description or photo of the adult leaves and the relative size of the plant.

    However, if it is Cocculus carolinus, there is an easy way to be certain, which is revealed in the common name "snailseed". If you can go back to the area, pluck a fruit and pull it apart to reveal the seed. If the seed is shaped like a snail or three-quarter moon, then it's Cocculus carolinus.

    Cocculus carolinus at Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History in South Carolina. This site has an excellent image of the seeds.

    Cocculus carolinus from Oklahoma University
    Cocculus carolinus from the Texas Native Plants Database at Texas A&M University. If you click on the photograph that appears on the main page to enlarge it, you can see that the juvenile foliage is different from the adult foliage shown on the Hilton Pond Center site. To my eyes, it resembles the structure and shape of the leaves from your photograph.
     
  4. This is it, thank you!

    This is definately the plant. I bow my humble head and thank thee kindly.

    I found it growing over undergrowth and trees on the wooded riverbank. At first I thought the berries were from the tree, then began following the twining vine...although the vine looked herbaceous to me throughout and not woody, I was probably not looking at anything remotely near the roots, but instead the very ends of the vines as it draped over branches towards the ground. The photo was taken a day or two before the message was posted, so late November, and didn't do justice at all to the beautiful leaves.

    You did a better google than I did, I was looking berries+red+Oklahoma+fall (& November) and getting nothing but poison ivy. We do have plenty of poison ivy near the river, thus I'm pretty good at noticing it before I go plucking it off trees! It didn't occur to me to put a penny or ruler or something in the photo-thank you for pointing that out, I will keep it in mind for the future. I set the sample out on my balcony for the birds and its quite gone now (chuckle) but I think I'll stroll back over there tomorrow and pluck a berry or two just for the fun of opening it up and seeing that unusual seed.

    We do have vast amounts of wild honeysuckle as well in the similar areas, but I haven't noticed berries on those vines yet. Now I have to climb down the bank to check on the nearest honeysuckle just to see those berries! Imagine, I've lived with the delicious summer fragrance of those wild honeysuckle vines all my life and never even noticed they made berries in the fall (blush). There is also a huge patch of wild jasmine in the same area. Anyone have any idea how to process the flowers of either/both for fragrant oil? Or perhaps a site where I could find that sort of info?

    Thank you both again for your efforts!

    Think I'll register and bookmark this forum for when I am totally stumped...

    Summer
     
  5. Rose Myers

    Rose Myers Member

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    this is exactly what I was looking for "foovay",,, I just found this vine growning up one of my plants, its beautiful, wondered if it was poisonious? thank you for this piece and great picture
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Rose, the link to the Hilton Pond Center comments on the poisonous / edibility of the fruit. In short, it is doubtful one would be able to eat enough to have it be fatal because the fruit is so bitter, so poisonous status might be unknown.
     
  7. mary smith

    mary smith Member

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    I feel rather dumb replying to something that was posted in june, 2001, but I live in west Tennessee, and just found the Cocculus carolinus here in town by the post office. They did not know what it was, so I finally found UBC on the Internet. Now I know what it is, and I can go to our County Extention Office and show them where i found the info and show them again, the plant.
    I do believe the female plant are the ones with the red berrys, and the smooth edged leaves, while the male leaf has a leaf that has two indentions, one on each side. I don't know how to describe its difference, but there is one growing about a foot away from the one with berrys. I am trying to get it to root, as we would like to plant it. Thanks much for you help. Your website is great. Mary
     

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