Smilax rotundifolia L. - Green Brier


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Smilax rotundifolia - (image 1 of 3)



Family: Liliaceae


Mesic woods, shaded dune slopes. Also occurs in swampy dune woodlands. Can become dominant in some dune savanna areas due to fire suppression. Open woods, thickets, roadsides.


I have mainly found this species in pine barrens and old dunes, usually growing with bracken fern.


Nova Scotia west to MI, southeast MO, and eastern OK, south to northern FL and eastern TX.


Herbaceous perennial woody vine, often high climbing. Stems usually quadrangular, with scattered stout, flat prickles below. Leaves deciduous, thin, green, shining, ovate to rotund or triangular-ovate, to 4" long and nearly as wide, entire or sparsely roughed on the margins. Flowers inconspicuous; peduncles flattened, about as long as the subtending petioles. Fruit black, usually glaucous, mostly 2-3 seeded.


Flowers early May to late July

Wetland indicator: [Upland]

Common in the Northeast.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2005