Smilax rotundifolia

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Smilax rotundifolia
Smilax rotundifolia 8.JPG
Conservation status

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Smilacaceae
Genus: Smilax
Species: S. rotundifolia
Binomial name
Smilax rotundifolia
  • Smilax caduca L.
  • Smilax quadrangularis Muhl. ex Willd.
  • Smilax deltifolia Raf.
  • Smilax platoplis Raf.
  • Smilax tetragona M.Martens & Galeotti
  • Smilax engelmanniana Kunth
  • Smilax sprengelii Kunth

Smilax rotundifolia, known as common greenbrier, is a woody vine native to the eastern and south-central United States and to eastern Canada.[1][2][3] It is a common and conspicuous part of the natural forest ecosystems in much of its native range. The leaves are glossy green, petioled, alternate, and circular to heart-shaped. They are generally 5–13 cm long. Common greenbriar climbs other plants using green tendrils growing out of the petioles.[4]

The stems are round and green and have sharp spines. The flowers are greenish, and are produced from April to August. The fruit is a bluish black berry that ripens in September.[4]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Common greenbriar grows in roadsides, landscapes, clearings and woods. In clearings it often forms dense and impassable thickets.[4] It grows throughout Eastern North America from Nova Scotia in the east, to as far north as Ontario and Illinois, south to Florida and as far west as Texas.[4]

The young shoots of common greenbriar are reported to be excellent when cooked like asparagus.[5] The young leaves and tendrils can be prepared like spinach or added directly to salads.[5] The roots have a natural gelling agent in them that can be extracted and used as a thickening agent.[5]


External links[edit]