White Bryony

Bryonia alba

White Bryony

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Weed class: B
Year Listed: 1988
Native to: Europe
Is this Weed Toxic?:

humans, livestock

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).

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 Does it Reproduce?

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

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"

Asotin County NWCB Fact Sheet on white bryony

Franklin County NWCB Fact Sheet on white bryony

Additional Photos