Cocculus carolinus

Common Name:  Carolina Snailseed, Carolina Coralbead

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Cocculus carolinus habit.jpg (74638 bytes)

Cocculus carolinus leaf1.jpg (41802 bytes)
habit--snailseed vines can become quite extensive leaf--in many cases Cocculus carolinus is easily recognized because its leaves look like an elephant's head...
Cocculus carolinus leaf.jpg (36228 bytes)
...however, sometimes the leaves can appear nearly unlobed, so be careful!  The leaves of snailseed are always covered with a layer of soft hairs, unlike many of the other species it could be confused with (ie, Smilax bona-nox), making this a useful identifying character if you are unsure.  Also, Smilax has tendrils and prickles. flower and flower buds--these flowers are very small and appear in the late spring and summer
fruit - in the late fall. the fruit are borne in clusters in the leaf axils

the seed - inside the fruit (a drupe), the seed is protected by the hard endocarp (inner section of the ovary wall). Can you see where the common name "Snailseed" comes from?