Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Smilax walteri Pursh
- Family: Lily (Liliaceae)
- Flowering: April-May
- Field Marks: This greenbrier can be distinguished from all others by its red berries, ovate leaves
that are not auriculate at the base, and the stalks of the flower clusters not longer than the leaf
- Habitat: Low pinelands, swamps, bogs, pond margins, stream banks, alluvial woods, usually in water.
- Habit: Woody vine with slender rhizomes.
- Stems: Climbing, rather slender, up to 20 feet long, with numerous, green prickles; prickles sometimes
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate, pointed at the tip, more or less rounded or heart-shaped at the base,
toothless, smooth, up to 5 inches long, up to 3 1/2 inches wide; leaf stalks about 1/ 2 inch long.
- Flowers: 6-15 in umbels from the axils of the leaves, the stalk of the umbels less than 1/2 inch long;
stalk of individual flowers slender, up to 1/4 inch long; male and female flowers borne on separate
- Perianth: 6-parted, yellow or brown, free from each other, up to 1/3 inch long.
- Stamens: 6.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Berries ellipsoid to spherical, red, up to 1/2 inch long; seeds 2-4.
- Notes: The leaves usually fall off prior to the maturing of the berries.
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