File Size: 70 KB
Cocculus carolinus   (L. ) DC.
Cherokee County, Kansas
Height: Vines, to 13 feet
Family: Menispermaceae - Moonseed Family
Flowering Period:   May, June
Also Called: Carolina coralbead, snailseed.
Trunks: Stems climbing or clambering; branches unarmed, without tendrils. Bark grayish green to grayish brown, warty, fissured; wood white, soft.
Twigs: Grayish green to grayish brown, flexible, finely ridged, glabrate or finely woolly; leaf scars half-round to depressed elliptic; buds concealed by dense tomentum.
Leaves: Deciduous, alternate, simple; stipules absent; petiole attached at base of blade, .8 to 2.4 inches, finely woolly; blade ovate to triangular or hastate, 2.4 to 4 inches long, 1.8 to 3.4 inches wide, base truncate to cordate, margins entire or shallowly 3-lobed, lobes narrowly to broadly triangular, apex obtuse to acuminate, surfaces abaxially light green, sparsely to densely finely woolly, adaxially green, glabrous or sparsely finely woolly.
Flowers: Dioecious. Inflorescences axillary or terminal on new growth, racemes or racemose panicles, (3-)10-40-flowered, lax, .8 to 9 inches; peduncles .12 to .6 inch; pedicels .12 to .24 inch, glabrous. Flowers unisexual, +/- radially symmetric; sepals 6-9, distinct, lobes white, ovate to elliptic or obovate, .01 to .1 inch, spreading to ascending; petals 6, distinct, yellow, elliptic to triangular, rhombic, or obovate, .02 to .08 inch, spreading to ascending; staminate: stamens (5-)6, to .09 inch; pistillate: staminodes 6; pistils 6, ovary superior, 1-locular; style 1 per pistil, stigma cylindric.
Fruit: September-October; drupes, red, globose, .16 to .3 inch diam., smooth, glabrous, shiny; stone 1, white, snail-shaped, .2 to .24 inch diam., rim warty, sides concave.
Habitat: Floodplain and upland forests, stream banks, thickets, fencerows, shrubby hillsides.
Distribution: Southeast quarter of Kansas
Origin: Native
Comments: The distinctive snail-shaped stones of Cocculus carolinus somewhat resemble those of Menispermum canadense, but Cocculus stones lack the prominently ridged rim found on Menispermum stones.

Carolina moonseed leaves
101 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
Carolina moonseed
65 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
Carolina moonseed fruit
118 KB
Craig Freeman photo
Carolina moonseed habit
161 KB
Craig Freeman photo
Carolina moonseed fruit
127 KB
Craig Freeman photo