saw greenbrier
Smilax bona-nox
  • LEAVES: deltoid to fiddle-shaped leaves; thick; often blotchy white spots; 1.5-4.5 inches long, 1-3 inches wide; 7 veins; margins and main veins usually spined; margins thickened. May appear very similar to Smilax rotundifolia (common greenbrier); check for minute spines on midrib and thickened margins
  • FLOWER: April to June; small, inconspicuous axillary peduncles; peduncle usually longer than petioles
  • FRUIT: black berry, pulpy, single seed, 0.25 inch; mature October to November; 1-seeded
  • TWIGS:
  • BARK:
  • FORM: low-growing vine, may form low thickets; spines at nodes and along internodes
  • HABITAT: abundant and widely distributed throughout Louisiana in all areas except marshlands; common in cut-over habitats
  • 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. often with fiddle-shaped blotchy leaves
    2. spines along leaf veins and margins
    3. low-growing Smilax vine

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