Calycocarpum lyonii (Pursh) A. Gray

Cupseed

Calycocarpum_lyonii_plant2.jpg
STATS

Native
CC = 7
CW = -3
MOC = 36

© SRTurner

Family - Menispermaceae

Habit - Dioecious, perennial vine, lacking tendrils or spines, often with woody base.

Stem - Vining and climbing to 20 m or more, glabrous.

Calycocarpum_lyonii_stem.jpg Stem.

© DETenaglia

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate, simple, shallowly to deeply lobed, glabrous to moderately hairy, the base deeply cordate.

Calycocarpum_lyonii_leaves.jpg Leaves.

© DETenaglia

Inflorescence - Axillary racemes or compound racemes to 24 cm long.

Calycocarpum_lyonii_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Calycocarpum_lyonii_inflorescence2.jpg Compound inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Sepals 1.5-2.5 mm long. Petals absent or minute. Stamens 6-12. Pistils 3.

Calycocarpum_lyonii_flowers.jpg Flowers.

© SRTurner

Fruits - Fruits to 18 mm long, ellipsoidal, green (drying bluish black), the endocarp smooth, deeply bowl-shaped.

Calycocarpum_lyonii_fruits.jpg Fruits.

© SRTurner

Calycocarpum_lyonii_fruits2.jpg Fruit and endocarp.

© SRTurner

Flowering - May - June.

Habitat - Bottomland and mesic forests, streambanks, pastures.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Lookalikes - Vegetatively, some species of Vitis (grape) These have much different flowers, however.

Other info. - This vine can be found in the southern half of Missouri, which represents the far northern extent of the species' distribution. Elsewhere it ranges down to the Gulf Coast, and eastward to mid-Kentucky and the western edge of Georgia. The plant has a few lookalikes and can be somewhat difficult to identify in the field unless it is in flower. The fruits of the plant are also very distinctive, being nearly spherical and about the size of grapes. Inside is a hard, tan-colored endocarp shaped like a bowl with a toothed rim. This is the structure which gives the plant its common name. The leaves of this species are very thin, wilting as soon as they are picked and often when exposed to direct sunlight.

Photographs taken in the Ozark Scenic Riverways, Shannon County, MO., 6-24-04 (DETenaglia); also at Onondaga Cave State Park, Crawford County, MO, 9-5-2011, 5-28-2012, 6-9-2014, and 9-11-2017 (SRTurner).