Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Smilax laurifolia L.
- Family: Lily (Liliaceae)
- Flowering: July-August
- Field Marks: This greenbrier is recognized immediately by its leaves that point directly upward.
- Habitat: Swamps, stream banks, thickets, bayheads, low pinelands, flatwoods, bogs, pocosins.
- Habit: High-climbing woody vine with thick, tuberous rhizomes.
- Stems: Woody, green, smooth except for many stout prickles, the prickles up to 1/2 inch long,
or prickles rarely absent.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, twisted, the stalks twisted so the blades point upward, evergreen,
leathery, oblong, rounded or pointed at the tip, rounded at the base, without teeth, sometimes
revolute, smooth, up to 4 1/2 inches long, up to 2 inches wide.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne separately on separate plants, in umbels.
- Perianth: 6-parted, greenish, free from each other, up to 1/4 inch long, slightly shorter in the
- Stamens: 6.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; stigmas 1 or 2.
- Fruits: Berries spherical, blue-black, usually glaucous, up to 1/3 inch in diameter, 1-seeded.
- Notes: This vine can form impenetrable thickets. The berries take two years to ripen.
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