Berchemia scandens

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: Alabama supplejack 
Type: Vine
Family: Rhamnaceae
Native Range: Central and southeast United States
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 20.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Greenish-white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought


Easily grown in average soils in full sun to part shade. Plants tolerate a wide range of soil moisture from dry to wet.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Berchemia scandens, commonly known as supple-jack, is a woody vine of the buckthorn family that features tough stems, greenish-white flowers and blue fruits. It is native from Virginia to Missouri south to Florida and Texas. It is typically found in (1) bottomland forests and swampy woods as a twining vine that climbs high into trees and (2) much drier upland limestone glades as a sprawling vine that trails along the ground (see Steyermark). Stems have smooth gray-green bark. Ovate to elliptic leaves (to 2.5" long) have distinctive parallel pinnate veins. Small greenish-white flowers bloom in open terminal clusters in mid to late spring. Flowers give way to blue drupes (each 1/4" across) which mature in autumn. Drupes are inedible (mildly toxic) for humans. Supple-jack is the name for a strong pliant walking stick made from a plant such as this vine.

Genus name honors M. Berchem, French botanist of the 17th century.

Specific epithet means "climbing upward" in reference to the climbing habit of this vine.

Supple-jack is the name for a strong pliant walking stick made from a plant such as this vine. Vine stems can also be used to make wicker products, hence the additional common name of rattan vine.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Woody vine for woodland gardens, open woodland areas or native plant gardens.