Black bryony

Black Bryony


Black bryony

Scientific name: Tamus communis
A climbing plant of hedgerows and woodlands, Black bryony produces greenish flowers in summer and red, shiny berries in autumn. It is a poisonous plant.

Species information


Height: up to 3m

Conservation status


When to see

May to November


Black bryony is a climbing hedgerow and woodland edge plant that flowers between May and August. Later on, it produces red, shiny berries that can be seen in autumn and even early winter. Our only native member of the yam family, Black Bryony is actually highly poisonous. Despite its name and superficial resemblance, it is not a relative of White Bryony.

How to identify

Black bryony is a twisting climber, but lacks the tendrils of the similar-looking White bryony. Its leaves are heart-shaped and glossy, and their veins form a net pattern. Black bryony displays yellow-green, six-petalled flowers and shiny, red berries.


Mainly found in England and Wales.

Did you know?

Black bryony grows from a tuber (a modified root that stores nutrients) that develops about 10-20cm below the soil. This tuber can grow very large, reaching 60cm width and is, like the rest of the plant, highly poisonous.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers and landowners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.