Dioscorea communis

Synon. Tamus communis

Black bryony                                                                                        Οβριά αβρωνιά

Dioscoreaceae - yam family                                                                                Monocot.


Black bryony (Discorea communis) is a vigorous climbing plant which scrambles through the surrounding vegetation, often accompanied by spiny brambles; it has a particular penchant for wire fences. It grows in seasonally damp, shady places on calcareous soils. The leaves are typically heart shaped. Male and female flowers which are small and greenish white flowers are found on separate plants. The male flowers are widely separated and in long narrow spikes;  the female flowers are in clusters  and are followed by berries, which change from green,to yellow, then orange and finally bright red.

The young shoots, which are similar to asparagus are collected as ovries. It is important that they are prepared by scalding and then discarding the first water, as they contain oxalic acid, which is poison at high concentration. The berries of the plant are highly poisonous.

For more from Skopelos News on ovries and other horta click here.

Dioscorea - from Pedanius Dioscorides (Πεδάνιος Διοσκουρίδης) the first pharmacist circa. 40-90 AD

communis - botanical Latin for common

4-5mm,  - 3metres,,
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