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Berchemia scandens (Alabama supplejack)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Berchemia scandens

Berchemia scandens (Hill) K. Koch

Alabama Supplejack, Alabama Supple-jack, Rattan-vine

Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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

16 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
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 Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: 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 Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)


Use Wildlife: Fruits eaten by wild turkey, northern bobwhite, raccoon and gray squirrel.
Interesting Foliage: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According 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 Bank

LBJWC-MM-798 Collected 2006-12-17 in Harrison County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

USDA: Find Berchemia scandens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Berchemia scandens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Berchemia scandens


Record Modified: 2023-05-04
Research By: TWC Staff

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