white bryony

Bryonia alba


Family: Cucurbitaceae

Weed Class: B

Year Listed: 1988

Native to: Europe

Toxic: humans, livestock

Other Legal Listings:

additional photos



Why is it a noxious weed?

Bryony is a vigorous perennial vine resembling Kudzu in its habit--forming dense mats which shade out all vegetation it grows upon. Major destructive potential to native vegetation, forest communities, and urban horticulture. Berries are toxic to humans.

How would I identify it?

General Description: White bryony is an herbaceous perennial vine with climbing stems that grow 12 feet long, or more. It has thick, fleshy, light yellow roots. Stems have long curling, not branched tendrils and the flowers are from leaf axils.

Flower Description: White bryony is monoecious, separate male and female flowers are found on the same plant. Flowers are greenish-white and up to 0.5 inch across.

Leaf Description: Leaves are simple, triangular, alternate, broadly toothed and 3 to 5 lobed. The upper and lower surfaces have small white glands.

Stem Description: White bryony stems are vines that can grow over and blanket other plants.

Fruit/Seed Description: White bryony has black mature berries with 3 to 6 ovoid to oblong seeds in each one. The berries are especially poisonous (though all parts of the plant are).

May be confused with:

How does it reproduce?

White bryony reproduces by seed that is spread by birds. Plants can also resprout from the roots.

Where does it grow?

It occurs as a climber in trees and fence rows and when disseminated in an area where there is nothing to climb, it will form dense mats shading out all other vegetation. It grows in disturbed areas, riparian areas, and roadsides. Please click here to see a county level distribution map of white bryony in Washington.

How do I control it?

Mechanical Control

Cutting the plants back is ineffective as plants will re-sprout from roots.

Herbicide Control

Please refer to the PNW Weed Management Handbook, or contact your county noxious weed coordinator.


For more information

See our Written Findings for more information about white bryony (Bryonia alba).
Report on white bryony from the book "Weed Control in Natural Areas in the Western United States"

Additional Photos



White bryony growth with fruit


White bryony infestation


White bryony in flower


Part of small white bryony root and stem


White bryony growing in tree branches


White bryony leaf


fruit and seeds


stems with ripe fruit




young plant


blanketing growth


growing in Russian olive


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