ladies' ear-drops
Brunnichia ovata (Walter) Shinners
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: ladies’ ear-drop vine; American buckwheat vine
  • LEAVES: alternate, simple, deciduous; blades ovate, 2 to 5 inches long, bases truncate to slightly cordate, apex acute to acuminate;, petioles short ; margins entire; upper surface glabrous, lower usually sparsely pubescent
  • FLOWER: greenish, 2 to 5” axillary and terminal paniculate racemes; flowering June to July
  • FRUIT:  fruiting raceme with achenes enclosed in a hypanthium; also called "ear-drops" (ear-drops are dangling earrings, hence, the common name)
  • STEMS: distal portions of shoots herbaceous, proximal portions woody; summits of internodes flaring to one side at petiole bases
  • BARK: greenish to reddish with grayish stripes and pustulate lenticels; finely grooved
  • FORM: semi-woody vine, grooved stem; climbs by axillary and terminal tendrils, short lateral branches
  • HABITAT: river banks and swamps; most common vine of bottomland hardwoods; old fields and clearings in floodplains
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Wetland (FACW): Usually occurs in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: southeast US coastal plains; Texas to Alabama, northward to southern Illinois [MAP]
  • WILDLIFE: fruit eaten by squirrels and deer; moderateto high-value whitetail deer browse
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. goose-neck petioles, ovate leaf blade with truncate to cordate base
    2. foliage yellowish-green
    3. vine climbing by tendrils
    4. ear-drop fruit in the fall