Supplejack, Berchemia scandens

Also known as Alabama Supplejack, American Rattan, and Rattanvine.

Supplejack is a woody vine of the Buckthorn family native to southeast and central USA. It grows in areas from swampy to upland woodland growing on the ground or climbing high into trees. In NC it is usually found growing in the Coastal Plain. The tough, flexible stems have been used in wickerworks. Greenish-white flowers appear late spring into summer, not that I have seen the flowers yet, as they are high up in the trees! Mayby this year. Blue fruits in the fall are eaten by birds and small mammals.

This plant tolerates soils from wet to dry in sun to shade. It is best used in naturalized and woodland settings.

Supple-jack is the name for a strong pliant walking stick made from a plant such as this vine. ( The vines can be woven into wicker baskets, and native Americans used the vine medicinally.

Supplejack is the smooth vine going toe to toe with wild grape vine. Photo: K. Mulcahy

Sources:,, other authoritative resources and personal experience.