Bryonia cretica, Cretan Bryony,
Hebrew: דלעת-נחש מצויה, Arabic: بطيخ الحية, عنب الحية

Scientific name:  Bryonia cretica L.
Synonym name:  Bryonia multiflora sensu Boiss.p.p. et auct. non Boiss. et Heldr.
Common name:  Cretan Bryony
Hebrew name:  דלעת-נחש מצויה
Arabic name:  بطيخ الحية, عنب الحية
Plant Family:  Cucurbitaceae, Gourd family, דלועיים

Israel flowers, wildflowers, flora, Israel, Plants

Life form:  hemicryptophyte, vine
Stems:  Rough-haired stalks, up to 4 m long
Leaves:  Alternate,palmately lobed leaves
Flowers:  Dioecious, 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
Fruits / pods:  Berries, spherical
Flowering Period:  March, April, May
Habitat:  Scrub and woodland
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Montane vegetation of Mt. Hermon
Chorotype:  Mediterranean
Summer shedding:  Ephemeral

Bryonia cretica, Cretan Bryony,דלעת-נחש מצויה, بطيخ الحية, عنب الحية

Derivation of the botanical name:
Bryonia, according to Pliny (Book XXIII 21-28) 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, from the island of Crete.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
  • The standard author abbreviation Boiss. is used to indicate Pierre Edmond Boissier (1810–1885), a Swiss botanist, explorer and mathematician.
  • The standard author abbreviation Heldr. is used to indicate Theodor Heinrich Hermann von Heldreich (1822–1902), a German botanist.

All species of Bryonia are pollinated by pollen- and nectar-gathering bees, and the fruits are berries that are dispersed by birds.

Flora of Israel online