Smilax china L.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Smilax china' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/smilax/smilax-china/). Accessed 2022-05-25.

Genus

Common Names

  • China Root

Glossary

globose
globularSpherical or globe-shaped.
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
truncate
Appearing as if cut off.
umbel
Inflorescence in which pedicels all arise from same point on peduncle. May be flat-topped (as in e.g. Umbelliferae) to spherical (as in e.g. Araliaceae). umbellate In form of umbel.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Smilax china' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/smilax/smilax-china/). Accessed 2022-05-25.

A deciduous rambling shrub, with round stems sparingly armed with slightly recurved prickles. Leaves 2 to 3 in. long, very variable, roundish ovate, or broadly oval, or sometimes broader than long, ending in a short abrupt point, the base tapered or truncate or slightly heart-shaped, five- or seven-veined; stalk 13 to 1 in. long. Flowers yellowish green, often numerous in umbels, the main-stalk of which is about 1 in. long. There are often over twenty flowers in an umbel. Fruits 38 in. in diameter, globose, bright red.

Native of China, Japan and Korea; introduced by Philip Miller from China shortly before 1759, and again by Wilson in 1907. It has a large, fleshy root-stock, said to be eaten by the Chinese. It also yields a drug known as ‘China Root’, once highly esteemed as a remedy against gout, though it is likely that other Chinese species were used for the same purpose (Norton, in Pl. Wils., Vol. III, p. 4).