common greenbrier
Smilax rotundifolia
  • LEAVES: tardily deciduous; 2 to 6 inches long, 1 to 6 inches wide; round with abruptly pointed tip; green on both sides, with a shiny lower surface
  • FLOWER: March to May; axillary, inconspicuous
  • FRUIT: black berry with a bloom; ripens in first year; 1-3 seeds; peduncle slightly longer than petiole
  • TWIGS:
  • BARK:
  • FORM: high-climbing vine; cane is round or four-angled; no spines at nodes
  • HABITAT: deciduous woods, moist thickets
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative (FAC): Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: southeast US
  • USES: applies to the genus: important deer, cattle, and rabbit browse; stems are 5-10% of deer diet; wood ducks, turkey, song birds eat berries
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. large leaves with abruptly pointed tips
    2. shiny green lower surface
    3. no spines at nodes

    COMMENTS: This is a difficult genus, with at least 8 species in Louisiana, 15 to 20 species in the southeastern US, and 21 to 24 species in the US.