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Smilax L.
GREENBRIER
Life   Plantae   Monocotyledoneae   Smilacaceae

Smilax sp DL BC75, leaf bottom
© Tomas Pickering and Graham Wyatt, 2006 · 9
Smilax sp_DL_BC75, leaf bottom

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Smilax sp DL BC75, leaf bottom
© Tomas Pickering and Graham Wyatt, 2006 · 9
Smilax sp_DL_BC75, leaf bottom
Smilax herbacea, Carrion-flower Male
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 9
Smilax herbacea, Carrion-flower Male

Smilax sp DL BC75, leaf bottom stem
© Tomas Pickering and Graham Wyatt, 2006 · 8
Smilax sp_DL_BC75, leaf bottom stem
Smilax sp DL BC75, leaf bottom stem
© Tomas Pickering and Graham Wyatt, 2006 · 8
Smilax sp_DL_BC75, leaf bottom stem

Smilax herbacea, Carrion-flower Male
© Copyright Sheryl Pollock 2011 · 8
Smilax herbacea, Carrion-flower Male
Smilax herbacea or psuedo-china inflorescence, Howard County, MD, HeLoMetz ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Smilax herbacea or psuedo-china inflorescence, Howard County, MD, HeLoMetz ---.

Smilax herbacea, or spp. Howard County, MD, HeLoMetz ---.
© Copyright source/photographer · 5
Smilax herbacea, or spp. Howard County, MD, HeLoMetz ---.
Smilax herbacea
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Smilax herbacea

Smilax herbacea
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Smilax herbacea
Smilax tamnoides
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Smilax tamnoides

Smilax rotundifolia
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Smilax rotundifolia
Smilax rotundifolia
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Smilax rotundifolia

Smilax rotundifolia
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Smilax rotundifolia
Smilax rotundifolia
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Smilax rotundifolia
Kinds
Overview
Members of the genus Smilax are dioecious, herbaceous or woody vines that use stipular tendrils for climbing. Other members are erect herbs. The stems of Smilax are terete and, in the woody species are often angled (Radford 1968). Stems are branched, spiny, and prickly or bristly (Huxley 1992). The leaves are simple and can be either deciduous or evergreen but are always alternate, petiolate (Radford 1968). Flowers are white to pale-green, yellow, or brown. They are lateral and may be solitary or in axillary umbels. There are six separate, free tepals; male flowers have six free stamens borne at the base, and female flowers have up to six stamenoids with a superior ovary bearing one to three stigmas (Huxley 1992). Smilax produce berries that are black, blue, or red and contain between one and six seeds. The seeds are red, and each is enclosed in a membranous sac. They may be 3-5mm long and slightly angled or rounded if they occur alone (Radford 1968).

Kinds
Although the genus Smilax contains somewhere between 200 ( Huxley 1992) and 350 (Everett 1982) species, a complete list of these has yet to be compiled. The above list includes the species found in North and South Carolina (Radford 1968) and Georgia (Duncan 1988). There is slso a list of all species present in Florida.

Identification
GUIDE
    Stems herbaceous, peduncles usually more than 4cm long;
          fruit black or bluish-black
      Leaves cluster toward top of stem or subverticillate, or
        equally distributed and the lowest peduncles from axils of bladeless and tendril-less sheaths; tendrils usually absent...........S. ecirrhata
      Leaves uniformly distributed; peduncles from axils of developed
        leaves or from sheaths bearing tendrils; tendrils present, often abundant.
      Longest fruiting pedicels shorter or slightly longer than
        fruit; anthers equaling or longer than filaments; leaves >usually deltoid-ovate to subhastate........................................S. tamnifolia
      Longest fruiting pedicels nearly 2x or more as long as fruit;
        anthers shorter than filaments; leaves ovate.............................S. herbacea
    Stems woody; peduncles usually less than 3 cm long; fruit black,
        bluish black, or red.
      Stems and lower surfaces of leaves densely pubescent;
        fruit red.....................................................................S. pumila
      Stems and leaves glabrous or exxentially so; fruit red, black,
        or bluish black. Leaf bases attenuate or cuneate.
          Fruit red; leaves deciduous..................................................S. walteri Fruit black or bluish-black; leaves evergreen.
      Leaves oblong or pandurate...............................................S. auriculata Leaves lanceolate.
        Leaves thick, abruptly contracted to acute apices.....................S. laurifolia Leaves thin, gradually contracted to acute or acuminate
          apices..................................................................S. smallii
      Leaf bases cordate, truncate or rounded. Peduncles more than 1.5x as long as the petioles of sub-
          tending leaves, usually more than 1.5 cm long Leaves glaucous beneath.................................................S. glauca Leaves green beneath.
            Leaves thin, the margins finely ciliate-serrulate....................S. hispida Leaves thick, the margins thickened or prickly, but not ciliate-serrulate..................................................S. bona-nox
      Peduncles 1.5x or less as long as the petioles of subtending
        leaves usually less than 1.5 cm long. Leaves glaucous beneath................................................S. glauca Leaves green beneath. Inflorescences in all the leaf axils of the branch or
            absent in the last 1 or 2.
          Fruit 1-seeded; flowering July-Aug. .............................S. laurifolia Fruit 2- or more-seeded; flowering May-July...................S. auriculata
        Inflorescences only in the first 1-5 leaf axils of the
            branch, not in the last leaf axils.
          Perianth brownish-yellow; fruit red..............................S. walteri Perianth green; fruit blue to black.
            Leaf margins spiny or thickened...............................S. bona-nox Leaf margins entire, thin.........................................S. rotundifolia

    This key was obtained from Radford, Ahles, and Bell's Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. It does not describe all species in the genus. There does not seem to be a complete description of the hundreds of tropical and temperate species of Smilax.


Natural history
Smilax is a genus containing some 350 species of woody and herbaceous vines that are climbers or scramblers of the lily family Liliaceae. Ancient Greeks used the name to describe various plants, and common names include Wild Sasparilla, Carrion Flower, Greenbrier or Catbrier or Horsebrier. Most species are native to the tropics, but some are natives of temperate Asia and North America. The foliage of some species is used ornamentally as cut greens. It is interesting to note, however, that the smilax used by florists does not belong in this group. Sasparilla is obtained from the roots of some tropical species (Everett 1982). Medicinal uses of sasparilla include prevention of muscular spasms and cramps, increasing sex drive in females, and serving as a nutritional supplement in AIDS patients. The species are tolerant to a range of soil and light variability and propogate by seed or division (Huxley 1992).

Recently, Smilax has been classified as belonging to the family Smilaceae. Descriptions of the new classification and corresponding images have been documented.


References
  • Duncan, Wilbur H. & John T Kartesz. 1988. Vascular Flora of Georgia and Annotated Checklist.
  • Encyclopedia Brittanica, The New. Vol.13. 15th ed.
  • Everett, Thomas H. 1982. The New York Botanical Garden Illustrated Encyclopedia of Horticulture. Garland Publishing, Inc. NY. vol. 9. pp 3165-3166
  • Huxley, Anthony. 1992. The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan Press Limited. London. v. 4. pp 304-305
  • Radford, A.E., H.E. Ahles & C.R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. University of North Carolina Press. Chapel Hill, NC. pp 284-285

Acknowledgements
Suzanne Barrow

Supported by

Associates · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Andrenidae  Andrena cressonii @ AMNH_BEE (1); UCRC_ENT (4)
Aphididae  Neoprociphilus aceris @ AMNH_PBI (5)
Diaspididae  Aspidiotus tridentifer @ CSCA_TCN (1)

Melanaspis smilacis @ MEMU_ENT (3)
Flatidae  Ormenoides venusta @ UDCC_TCN (2)
Membracidae  Stictocephala brevitylus @ UDCC_TCN (2)

Stictocephala stimulea @ UDCC_TCN (1)

Stictocephala taurina @ UDCC_TCN (2); NCSU (9)
Mymaridae  Gonatocerus ashmeadi @ UCRC_ENT310459B (1)
Noctuidae  Phyprosopus callitrichoides @ I_HVS (2)
Trichogrammatidae  Ufens ceratus @ UCRC_ENT310459A (1)
_  Carldrakeaninae nov @ AMNH_PBI (1)

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https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SMILA2 ---> http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=SMILA2
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=SMILA2 ---> https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=SMILA2
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You are here: Home / Plant Profile

Smilax L.
greenbrier


General Information
Symbol: SMILA2
Group: Monocot
Family: Smilacaceae
Duration:  
Growth Habit :  
Native Status : CAN   N
HI   N
L48   N
PR   N
VI   N
Data Source and Documentation
About our new maps
Plants-NRCS Logos
green round image for nativity Native blue round image for introduced Introduced ocre round image for introduced and nativity Both white round image for no status Absent/Unreported
image for native, but no county data Native, No County Data image for introduced, but no county data Introduced, No County Data both introduced and native, but no county data Both, No County Data
Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   

Images



slideshow

Synonyms

Classification

Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass Liliidae
Order Liliales
Family Smilacaceae – Catbrier family
Genus Smilax L. – greenbrier

Subordinate Taxa

The Plants Database includes the following 26 species of Smilax . Click below on a thumbnail map or name for species profiles. Plant is native (blue) Native Plant is introduced Introduced Plant is introduced Native and Introduced Related taxa legend Distribution of <i>
Smilax aristolochiifolia</i>
Mill.
Smilax aristolochiifolia
sarsaparilla Distribution of <i>
Smilax aspera</i>
L.
Smilax aspera
rough bindweed Distribution of <i>
Smilax auriculata</i>
Walter
Smilax auriculata
earleaf greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax biltmoreana</i>
(Small) J.B.S. Norton ex Pennell
Smilax biltmoreana
Biltmore's carrionflower Distribution of <i>
Smilax bona-nox</i>
L.
Smilax bona-nox
saw greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax californica</i>
(A. DC.) A. Gray
Smilax californica
California greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax china</i>
L.
Smilax china
China root Distribution of <i>
Smilax coriacea</i>
Spreng.
Smilax coriacea
Everglades greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax ecirrhata</i>
(Engelm. ex Kunth) S. Watson
Smilax ecirrhata
upright carrionflower Distribution of <i>
Smilax glauca</i>
Walter
Smilax glauca
cat greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax herbacea</i>
L.
Smilax herbacea
smooth carrionflower Distribution of <i>
Smilax hugeri</i>
(Small) J.B.S. Norton ex Pennell
Smilax hugeri
Huger's carrionflower Distribution of <i>
Smilax illinoensis</i>
Mangaly
Smilax illinoensis
Illinois greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax jamesii</i>
G. Wallace
Smilax jamesii
English Peak greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax lasioneura</i>
Hook.
Smilax lasioneura
Blue Ridge carrionflower Distribution of <i>
Smilax laurifolia</i>
L.
Smilax laurifolia
laurel greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax melastomifolia</i>
Sm.
Smilax melastomifolia
Hawai'i greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax pseudochina</i>
L.
Smilax pseudochina
bamboo vine Distribution of <i>
Smilax pulverulenta</i>
Michx.
Smilax pulverulenta
downy carrionflower Distribution of <i>
Smilax pumila</i>
Walter
Smilax pumila
sarsparilla vine Distribution of <i>
Smilax regelii</i>
Killip & Morton
Smilax regelii
Jamaican sarsaparilla Distribution of <i>
Smilax renifolia</i>
Small
Smilax renifolia
kidneyleaf greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax rotundifolia</i>
L.
Smilax rotundifolia
roundleaf greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax smallii</i>
Morong
Smilax smallii
lanceleaf greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax tamnoides</i>
L.
Smilax tamnoides
bristly greenbrier Distribution of <i>
Smilax walteri</i>
Pursh
Smilax walteri
coral greenbrier Plant is native (blue) Native Plant is introduced Introduced Plant is introduced Native and Introduced Related taxa legend

Legal Status

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
Flora of North America (SMILA2)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (SMILA2)
Jepson Interchange (University of California - Berkeley) (SMILA2)

Wildlife

Food

Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds
Martin Minor High
Miller Low
Yarrow Low Low Low

Cover

Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds
Martin Moderate
Miller Minor
Yarrow

Sources

Martin, A.C., H.S. Zim, and A.L. Nelson. 1951. American wildlife and plants: A guide to wildlife food habits . Dover Publications. New York.
Miller, J.H., and K.V. Miller. 1999. Forest plants of the southeast and their wildlife uses . Southern Weed Science Society.
Yarrow, G.K., and D.T. Yarrow. 1999. Managing wildlife . Sweet Water Press. Birmingham.

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover
High Average 25-50% of diet Regular source of cover
Low 5-10% of diet Infrequently used as cover
Minor 2-5% of diet Sparsely used as cover
Moderate Average 10-25% of diet Occasional source of cover


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Following modified from CalPhotos
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http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Smilax+sp.&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant ---> https://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Smilax+sp.&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant

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Number of matches : 7
Query: SELECT * FROM img WHERE ready=1 and taxon like "Smilax sp.%" and (lifeform != "specimen_tag" OR lifeform != "Plant") ORDER BY taxon

Click on the thumbnail to see an enlargement

Smilax sp.
Smilax sp.
ID: 0000 0000 1207 0003 [detail]
© 2007 Alex V. Popovkin

Smilax sp.
Smilax sp.
ID: 0000 0000 1207 0004 [detail]
© 2007 Alex V. Popovkin

Smilax sp.
Smilax sp.
ID: 0000 0000 1207 0005 [detail]
© 2007 Alex V. Popovkin

Smilax sp.
Smilax sp.
ID: 0000 0000 1207 0006 [detail]
© 2007 Alex V. Popovkin

Smilax sp.
Smilax sp.
ID: 0000 0000 1207 0007 [detail]
© 2007 Alex V. Popovkin

Smilax sp.
Smilax sp.
ID: 0000 0000 1207 0008 [detail]
© 2007 Alex V. Popovkin

Smilax sp.
Smilax sp.
ID: 0000 0000 1207 0009 [detail]
© 2007 Alex V. Popovkin

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