MOONSEED

Menispermum canadense
MOONSEED FAMILY (Menispermaceae)

Description
This native vine grows along the ground or climbs over other plants and fences, up to 12 feet high (A,B). Its vine lacks tendrils: it climbs by wrapping itself around other plants. The leaves usually have up to six pointed lobes (G). But sometimes the lobes are indistinct, as shown in image (F). A typical ground plant usually does not produce flowers. Male (C) and female (D) flowers form drooping clusters on separate climbing plants. The spherical fruit, about 1/2 inch in diameter, is first green and turns dark blue late in the fall (E). It is rarely seen in our area.

Occurrence
Grows in damp woods, flowering in May and June. In Fontenelle Forest, climbing plants are uncommon, for instance on the fence of the “deer exclosure” on Stream Trail. At Neale Woods, uncommon on Columbine Trail. Ground plants are common in the uplands of both nature centers.

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