Smilax ,Dioscorea and Tamus

John Grimshaw
Fri, 02 Jul 2010 00:50:25 PDT
Our native Black Bryony, formerly Tamus communis, is now placed in Dioscorea 
(D. communis) and is the only member of its family native to northern 
Europe. The White Bryony, Bryonia dioica, is likewise the only northern 
European cucurbit, and I've always thought it interesting that two unrelated 
plants should have this peculiarity and share a common name.

As Mark Brown says, D. communis can be rather weedy, and persistent, but the 
wreaths of red berries persisting into the winter on female plants make it 
very attractive for a hedge or rough shrubbery.

I rather regret the loss of the name Tamus because - simple things please 
simple minds - I always think of the black lady (only ever visible as feet) 
in Tom and Jerry cartoons, shouting 'Ta-mus, Ta-mus'....

John Grimshaw

Visit John Grimshaw's Garden Diary

Dr. John M. Grimshaw
Sycamore Cottage
GL53 9NP

Tel. 01242 870567

More information about the pbs mailing list