Berchemia scandens (Hill) K. Koch
Alabama Supplejack, Alabama Supple-jack, Rattan-vine
Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)
USDA Symbol: BESC
A climbing vine with distinctive smooth, green bark on stems as much as 1 inch in diameter. Climbing into trees in wooded ravines and narrow canyons. Leaves from 1 to 2 1/2 inches long, with prominent veins branching from the midrib, ovate to elliptical with smooth or slightly wavy margins and a rounded or pointed tip. Flowers small, less than 1/8 inch wide, in elongate, open clusters on short lateral branchlets, appearing in April and May. Fruit small fleshy, blue black, longer than wide and slightly flattened.
The Rattan Vine is a member of the buckthorn family (family Rhamnaceae) which includes shrubs, trees, and vines, usually with small flowers in clusters.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Leaf Margin: Entire , Serrate
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Stems up to about 60 feet long.
Fruit: Blue, 1/4 inch across.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , FL , GA , IL , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Habitat: Forest or natural area in open woods, along stream banks.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
BenefitUse Wildlife: Fruits eaten by wild turkey, northern bobwhite, raccoon and gray squirrel.
Interesting Foliage: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-MM-798 Collected 2006-12-17 in Harrison County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Berchemia scandens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Berchemia scandens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Berchemia scandens
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-05-04
Research By: TWC Staff