Carolina Snailseed , Carolina Coralbead, Carolina Moonseed

Cocculus carolinus



Snailseed is a common thornless vine in the Moonseed Family. The vine can reach between 0.9-4.5 m (i.e., 3-15 ft) with twining stems. Snailseed's simple leaves are shaped similar to that of Greenbriar; they are heart-shaped and can appear yellow-green to dark green in color. On the top, the leaves are dark green and smooth. On the bottom, they are paler with dense hair. Flowers are small, greenish in color, male and female appear on different plants, found in both loose lateral and terminal clusters, with the male flowers being branched, and female flowers being unbranched.   Its fruit is a brilliant red berry that measures about 0.64 cm or 0.25 inches in diameter. The fruit is found only on the female plants in loose clusters in the fall. Seeds are coiled and suggest a snail shape. The berries provide a valuable food source to many species of birds. 


Snailseed is commonly found growing on fences and trees throughout most of Texas, except the Panhandle region. Habitats can consist of moist, rich woody areas; roadside thickets; rocky hillsides; limestone cliffs. 

Management Strategies

This vine can be an aggressive colonizer and strong grower, so it should only be planted where its spreading nature would be appreciated. Once established, roots can make the plant difficult to remove.