A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.




Common names


Climbing, woody or semi-woody plants, with alternate, long-stalked, peltate leaves, and separate male and female flowers. Sepals six; petals six or nine; stamens nine to twenty-four. The black or purple-black fruit encloses one half-moon or crescent-shaped seed – giving the popular name. The plants spread rapidly by means of underground stems, and are easily increased by division. Cocculus is nearly allied, but has the leaf­stalk attached at the margin of the leaf, and only six stamens.

Species articles