Canada moonseed

(Menispermum canadense)

Conservation Status
Canada moonseed
Photo by Chris Kurtz
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FAC - Facultative

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Canada moonseed is a climbing, perennial, woody vine rising from a rhizome.

Young vines are green and hairy. When they mature they become hairless and woody. It climbs by twining around the stems of adjacent plants. They extend to about 16 and climb 6 to 10. There are no tendrils.

The leaves are alternate, bluish-green, up to 9 long and 9½ wide, untoothed and round to egg-shaped or, rarely, kidney-shaped. Young leaves are hairy, becoming mostly hairless as they mature. The base of the leaf is heart-shaped, squared, or rounded. There are 3 to 7 shallow lobes or angles. They are on leaf stalks up to 8 long. The leaf stalk attaches to the blade a little less than ½ inside the margin.

Male and female flowers are found on separate plants. The inflorescence is a dense, branched cluster borne in few leaf axils of non-woody vines. They are up to 7 long and hang downward from the stem on long stalks.

The flowers are a little over wide. They have 5 to 8 sepals and 4 to 12 (usually 6 to 9) white petals.

The fruit is a black or bluish-black, ¼ to ½ thick berry with a single crescent-shaped seed. The berry often has a whitish, waxy bloom at maturity. All parts of this plant, especially the friuts, are poisonous. They contain the alkaloid dauricine. Ingestion of the seeds is often fatal.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

Climbing: up to 16 long

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Silverleaf grape (Vitis aestivalis var. bicolor) leaves are whitish on the underside and have sharply-toothed edges. Tendrils form opposite most leaves. The leaves are attached at the margin. The fruits are edible though sour, and contain 2 to 4, pear-shaped seeds.

Wild grape (Vitis riparia) has yellowish-green leaves with sharply-toothed edges. Tendrils form opposite most leaves. The leaves are attached at the margin. The fruits are edible though sour, and contain 2 to 6, pear-shaped seeds.

Bur cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) leaf stalks attach to the blades at the margin.

Wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata) has more deeply cut leaves. The fruit is a green, inflated, egg-shaped capsule. The leaf stalk attaches to the blade at the margin.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Woods, thickets.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

June to July

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 24, 28.

 
  1/9/2014      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Ranunculanae  
 

Order

Ranunculales (buttercups, poppies, and allies)  
 

Family

Menispermaceae (moonseed)  
  Subfamily Menispermoideae  
  Tribe Menispermeae  
 

Genus

Menispermum (moonseed)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Menispermum mexicanum

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Canada moonseed

Canadian moonseed

Carolina moonseed

common moonseed

moonseed

yellow parilla

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Twining

Growing in a spiral usually around a stem of another plant that serves as support.

       
Visitor Photos
   

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Chris Kurtz
       
  Canada moonseed    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Plant

  Canada moonseed   Canada moonseed
       

Leaves

  Canada moonseed   Canada moonseed
       
  Canada moonseed    
       
       

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
 
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Moonseed
TheNatureTeacher
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 11, 2012

No description available.

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   

Report a sighting of this plant.

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Chris Kurtz
8/28/2009

Location: Fort Snelling State Park

Hi - I was surfing the net looking for pictures of a vine a stumbled on at Ft. Snelling State Park, on Pike Island. I've attached a photo. Your web page... mentioned locations of sightings but doesn't mention Snelling.

Canada moonseed


     
     
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
   

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Binoculars


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