Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Smilax hispida Muhl.
- Family: Lily (Liliaceae)
- Flowering: April-May
- Field Marks: This woody vine is distinguished by its all-green leaves which are relatively thin
and minutely ciliate or toothed and its slender spines which become entirely black at maturity.
- Habitat: Rare in uplands; generally along streams, floodplains, and swamps.
- Habit: Climbing or trailing woody vine with pairs of thread-like tendrils; rhizomes not
- Stems: Woody, climbing or trailing, round or slightly angular, smooth or more often with dense,
slender spines turning black with age.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate, pointed at the tip, rounded or heart-shaped at the base, thin,
smooth except for minute cilia or teeth, up to 5 inches long, up to 5 inches wide; leaf stalks up
to 3/4 inch long.
- Flowers: Borne in umbels; stalks of the umbels up to 2 inches long, longer than the leaf stalk;
stalk of each flower slender, up to 1/4 inch long; male and female flowers borne on separate
- Perianth: 6-parted, free from each other, green, up to 1/8 inch long.
- Stamens: 6, about as long as the perianth parts.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; stigmas 1-3.
- Fruits: Berries blue-black, spherical to ellipsoid, up to 1/4 inch in diameter, 1-seeded.
- Notes: This species is sometimes known as Smilax tamnoides. The leaves rarely are hastate.
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