Black bryony (ovries) is gathered from the end of February to the end of May depending on the area. The warmer the climate, the sooner they grow. In other areas of Greece they are known as vrionies. This name is probably falsely derived from another similar but inedible wild climbing vine that bears red fruit in autumn, the Bryoniadioica. The edible part is the tender stalks of the plant Tamuscommunis. It has been part of the eastern Mediterranean diet since antiquity. Dioscorides refers to black bryony as ‘snake vine’ (οφιοστάφιλο). It one of the few wild greens that should not be eaten raw in salads – in contrast to asparagus- because it has toxigenic properties that can only be eliminated by cooking.

Uses and Special Conditions

Black bryony should not to be eaten raw as the plant contains mild toxic substances.

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