Staff vine family (Celastraceae)
Shrub of heights to 2 m. Stems greenish, covered in brown warts (hence the scientific name). Leaves elliptical or ovate, up to 6 cm long, indistinctly crinkled and toothed, in autumn pale yellow to violet. Flowers small, quadripartite, brown-green or red-spotted and clustered in cymes. Capsules pink or yellow-red, 4-chambered; seeds black, surrounded to mid-point by orange aril. Flowers May-Jun.
Shade-tolerant, it grows on soils ranging from dry to mesic, and from mesotrophic to eutrophic, though mainly in oak-lime-hornbeam forest and mixed/coniferous forest. Up to 32% content of gutta-percha in roots. Seed in particular HIGHLY POISONOUS.
Descriptions devised by the team at the Independent Department of Forest Botany, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, i.e. L. Witkowska-Żuk, K. Marciszewska, W. Ciurzycki, A. Obidziński and P. Zaniewski.