This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial vines with elongated, grooved much branched stems climbing by tendrils, and alternate entire broad petioled leaves, the ocreae obscure or wanting, and small perfect flowers in panicled terminal and axillary racemes, the flowers fascicled in the axils of lanceolate-subulate bracts. Pedicels slender, jointed near the base. Calyx 5-parted, the segments spreading when fresh, converging when dry, the" flower-tube much enlarged, coriaceous and winged on one side in fruit, closely investing the achene. Stamens 7-10, mostly 8; filaments filiform, much dilated at the base. Style 3-parted, the stigmas 2-cleft; ovule solitary, pendulous. Achene 3-angled. Seed irregularly 6-grooved, the embryo in one of its angles. [Name in honor of M. T. Brunnich, Norwegian naturalist.]
Two known species, the following typical one of southeastern North America, the other of tropical Africa.
Brunnichia cirrhosa Banks; Gaertn. Fr. & Sem. 1: 213. pl. 45. f. 2. 1788.
Rajania ovata Walt. Fl. Car. 247. 1788.
Stem 6°-20° long, somewhat woody, rather tough, slender, grooved. Tendrils filiform; leaves ovate or ovate-lanceolate, acute or acuminate at the apex, truncate or subcordate at the base, 1'-6' long, petioled, slightly pubescent beneath; ocreae obsolete or represented by a ring of short bristles; racemes 2'-6' long; flowers in fascicles of from 2-5; calyx greenish, 5-parted; stamens exserted; achene oblong-ovoid, 3" long, brown, smooth, closely invested by the persistent and coriaceous flower-tube which becomes 1' or more in length.
On banks of streams, southern Illinois to Arkansas and Texas, east to South Carolina and Florida. May-June. Fruit mature in August.