Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Smilax rotundifolia L.
- Family: Lily (Liliaceae)
- Flowering: April-June
- Field Marks: This greenbrier is recognized by its leaves green on both sides and the presence
of spines that are green or blackened only at the tip.
- Habitat: Moist to wet soils in woodlands, fields, fencerows, ditch banks, and cutover areas.
- Habit: Climbing or trailing woody vine with pairs of thread-like tendrils; rhizome usually not tuber-bearing.
- Stems: Woody, climbing or trailing, usually angular, smooth, usually with stout spines; spines found
only on stem angles, green or blackened only at the tip.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, rather thick, shiny, ovate to orbicular, pointed at the tip, rounded at the
base, with or without small teeth, smooth, up to 6 inches long, up to 6 inches wide; leaf stalks up to 1
- Flowers: Borne in umbels; stalks of the umbels up to 3/4 inch long, usually shorter than the leaf stalk,
flattened; stalk of each flower slender, up to 1/3 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 black to blue-black, spherical, up to 1/4 inch in diameter, 2- to 3-seeded.
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