Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Brunnichia cirrhosa Gaertn.
- Family: Smartweed (Polygonaceae)
- Flowering: May-June
- Field Marks: This high-climbing vine is characterized by its fruits winged on one side and its
alternate, toothless leaves with undulating margins, and tendrils.
- Habitat: Swamps, stream and river banks, bottomlands, low alluvial woods, bayous, wet
- Habit: High-climbing perennial vine.
- Stems: Slightly woody, slender, much branched, grooved, reddish, up to 30 feet long, bearing
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, pointed at the tip, rounded or truncate at
the base, without teeth but with undulating margins, slightly hairy on the lower surface, up to 6
inches long; tendrils very slender; leaf stalks short-hairy.
- Flowers: Several in racemes, each on a short, slender stalk that enlarges with age.
- Sepals: 5, united below into a slender tube, green to yellow-green.
- Petals: None.
- Stamens: 8, exserted beyond the sepals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; styles 3.
- Fruits: Achenes up to 1/4 inch long, brown, smooth, enclosed by the persistent tube of the
flower; tube up to 1 inch long.
- Notes: This species is sometimes known as ladies' ear-drops.
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