This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(diminutive of kokkos, berry; the fruit being berry-like). Syn., Cebatha, Epibaterium. Menis-permdcese. Shrubs grown for their handsome foliage and the ornamental red or black fruits.
Twining or erect: leaves alternate, petioled, entire or lobed, with entire margin, deciduous or persistent, palminerved: flowers inconspicuous, dioecious, in axillary panicles or racemes, sometimes terminal; sepals, petals and stamens 6: carpels 3-6, distinct, developing into berry-like, 1-seeded drupes; seed reniform. - About 12 species in N. Amer., E. and S. Asia, Africa and Hawaii, chiefly in tropical and subtropical regions. Only a few species are cultivated, thriving in almost any somewhat moist soil; the evergreen kinds are sometimes grown in pots, in a sandy compost of peat and loam. Prop, by seeds or by cuttings of half-ripened wood in summer, under glass, with bottom heat.
"Cocculus indicus" is the trade name of the berries used by the Chinese in catching fish. The berries contain an acrid poison, which intoxicates or stuns the fish until they can be caught. The berries are imported from the East Indies to adulterate porter, and "Cocculus indicus" is a trade name with druggists, not a botanical one, just as "Cassia lignea" is a trade name of a kind of cinnamon bark, derived, not from a cassia, but from a species of Cinnamomum. The name "Cocculus indicus" was given by Bauhin, but binomial nomenclature began later, with Linnaeus, in 1753. The plant which produces the berries is Anamirta Cocculus.
DC. (Cebatha Carolina, Brit. Epibaterium, carolinum, Brit.). Carolina Moonseed. A rapid-growing, twining shrub, attaining 12 ft., with pubescent branches: leaves long-petioled, usually ovate, sometimes cordate, obtuse, entire or 3-, rarely 5-lobed, pubescent, glabrous above at length: petals emargi-nate: fruit red, 1/4in.diam. Along streams from Va. and 111. to Fla. and Texas. - Decorative in fall, with its bright red fruit Not hardy north of N. Y.
DC. (C. orbiculatus, Schneid. Cebatha orbiculata, Kuntze. C. Thunbergii, DC). Slender climber with pubescent branches: leaves broadly ovate to oblong-ovate, truncate or subcordate at the base, obtuse, often emarginate, usually entire, pubescent on both sides: petals bifid at the apex: fruit bluish black, about 1/4in- thick, in short-stalked axillary clusters. Japan. B.M. 8489. I.T. 6:231. - Quite hardy at the Arnold Arboretum; keeps its leaves green until very late in autumn.
C. diversifolius, Miq., not DC.=Sinomenium acutum. - C. hete-rophjjllus, Hemsl. & Wilson=Sinomenium acutum. - C. japanicus, DC.=Stephania hernandifolia. - C. laurifolius, DC. Erect shrub, to 15 ft., glabrous: leaves evergreen, oblong, acute at both ends. Himalayas. Decorative, with its bright green, shining foliage. Only hardy in subtropical regions.