Nekemias arborea (L.) J. Wen & Boggan
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAME: buck vine, cow vine
  • LEAVES: alternate, doubly-pinnate to partly tri-pinnately compound; lustrous green above, purplish tint; subleaflets with toothed margins
  • FLOWER: inconspicuous, light green, in loose stalked cyme; clusters shorter than the leaves
  • FRUIT: shiny blue-black berries, to 0.4" diameter, inedible, pepper-hot to the taste
  • TWIGS: tendrils present opposite the leaves on leader stems
  • BARK:
  • FORM: woody climbing vine, climbing by tendrils, tendrils sometimes absent; may form dense mats without other plants to climb upon
  • HABITAT: heavy soils; streambanks, floodplain forests and disturbed areas, fence and hedge rows, moist thickets, old fields
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative (FAC): Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri eastward to Virginia and Florida   [MAP]
  • WILDLIFE: browse pressure by whitetail deer varies, but high usage has been recorded in Lower Mississippi Valley parishes; valuable bedding cover for whitetail deer; fruit consumed by some songbirds
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. woody vine climbing by tendrils, or forming dense tangles without climbing structure
    2. dark green to reddish bi- to tri-pinnately compound leaves
    3. clusters of shiny black berries