Smilax rotundifolia L.

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Credits

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

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

Genus

Common Names

  • Horse Brier

Synonyms

  • S. caduca L.

Glossary

bloom
Bluish or greyish waxy substance on leaves or fruits.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
glaucous
Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.

References

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Credits

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

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

A vigorous, deciduous or partially evergreen climber, with slender, round or more or less angled stems, armed with one or two short spines between each leaf (not at the nodes); the stems are sometimes 6 or 8 yards long; branches four-angled. Leaves ovate to broadly heart-shaped; 2 to 6 in. long, often broader than long, with a short abrupt point, prominently five-nerved, glabrous and glossy green on both sides; stalk 14 to 12 in. long. Flowers greenish yellow, about 15 in. across, borne in umbels; main flower-stalk 14 to 12 in. long, flattened. Berries roundish, black, 14 in. in diameter, covered with glaucous bloom, usually three to six of them in one cluster.

Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1760. This is the commonest, most vigorous and hardy of all the smilaxes in cultivation, making a dense thicket of stems. It is the common horse brier or green brier of the United States, where its stems are sometimes 30 to 40 ft long, stretching from tree to tree. In gardens it may be trained up stout oak posts on which the stumps of the side branches have been left 2 or 3 ft long. Grown in this way it is very elegant.