A.Vogel plant encyclopaedia

Bryonia cretica L. ssp. dioica

White Bryony


Bryonia cretica L. - White Bryony

According to Pliny, the name Bryonia stems from the Greek bryo and bryéin, which mean «to grow» or «to sprout lushly» and which refer to the stalks that sprout rapidly and numerously from the root stock. Cretica derives from the Latin créticus or the Greek krétikos and indicates the plant's Cretan origin. The botanist Linné named the subspecies dioica for «two-housed», from the Greek di for «two» and oíkos for «house».

The red berried White Bryony (Bryonia cretica ss. dioica) has to be distinguished from the Black-berried or European White Bryony (Bryonia alba) that is used in medicine as well. 

Bryony's drastic purgative effect was already known to the physicians of antiquity.

Botanical characteristics

Bryonia cretica L. - Botanical characteristics

The bryony's light yellow, malodorous root grows as fat as a beet and can weigh as much as 2.5 kg. The plant's rough-haired stalks grow up to 4 m long and grasp hedges and fences with spiralling, unbranched, creeping tendrils. The stemmed, short-bristled leaves   pentafid or palmate beyond the middle are entire or bluntly toothed on the margins. Each leaf stands opposite a tendril.

The red bryony is dioecious (two-housed) greenish-white and grouped in long-stemmed clusters, while the somewhat smaller, light green female plants sit in tufts resembling calyces in the leaf axils. The thin-skinned, spherical, scarlet red, poisonous berries develop in the Fall. The berries of the black-berried white bryony (Bryonia alba) are   black when ripe, whereas the black bryony (Tamus communis) has red berries, too.

White bryony flowers from June to July.


Bryonia cretica L. - Habitat

The bryony is widely distributed, from Central Europe to the Sea of   Japan, and is especially frequently found in Central and Southern Europe and in North Africa. It grows scattered on fences, hedges, bushes, wet woods, and winegrowing regions.


Bryonia cretica L. - Preparation

A.Vogel/Bioforce uses a homeopathic mother tincture produced in accordance with the actual HAB. The mother tincture is made from fresh roots of Bryonia cretica L. ssp. Dioica (Jacq.) Tutin or Bryonia alba L. collected before the plant begins to bloom. The potentisation of the dilution is carried out manually.

Official designation

Bryonia (Hom.)






Bryonia acuta Desf.

Bryonia dioica Jacq.


Common names

Common bryony

English mandrake

Ladies' seal

Red-berried bryony


Wild vine

Wild hops

Wild nep