Bryonia cretica subsp. dioica

White bryony

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Origin: Eurasia, North Africa

White Bryony growing over another plant.
A soft climber that is similar to a cucumber and can grow up to 6m tall. Has curling tendrils to locate branches to climb up to reach the sun.

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • National Pest Plant Accord Species
  • Notifiable organism

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Soft, climbing, cucumber-like perennial vine < 6 m tall with curling tendrils. Tubers are large, brittle and branching. Leaves are < 15 x 15 cm and five-lobed. Flowers are tubular, < 2 cm long and white with green stripes. Fruits are smooth, round, fleshy and yellow ripening to red.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell white bryony. As white bryony is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.

If you see white bryony anywhere, you must report it to the Ministry of Primary Industries on 0800 80 99 66.


Disturbed forest, shrubland, riparian margins, cliffs, rocky outcrops, plantations, fence lines.


Seeds dispersed by birds. Vegetative spread from tuber fragments, dispersed by water and soil movement. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste and movement of contaminated soil.

Impact on environment

Smothers and suppresses native vegetation. Fruit and tubers may be toxic to humans.


Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species. The Ministry of Primary Industries will carry out the control of this species.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.