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Bullbrier Smilax rotundifolia

Phonetic Spelling
SMIL-aks ro-tun-dih-FOH-lee-uh
Description

Round-Leaved Greenbrier is a deciduous to semi-evergreen vine in the greenbrier family. The common greenbrier is most often found in forests with sandy, moist to dry soils, in woodlands, fields, and pond borders, hedgerows, thickets.

The species is not self-fertile as individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. It spreads primarily by rhizomes and tolerates a wide range of soil types.

Fire Risk: This plant has an extreme flammability rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home.  Select plants with a low flammability rating for the sites nearest your home.  

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#thorns#sun#deciduous#partial shade#edible plant#white flowers#semi-evergreen#green flowers#weedy#tendrils#riparian#barrier#berries#prickles#moist soil#dioecious#thickets#glossy leaves#woodland#deciduous vine#native vine#acidic soil tolerant#winter fruits#native weed#perennial weed#sandy soils tolerant#wet soils tolerant#rocky soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#mammals#rapid#flies
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#thorns#sun#deciduous#partial shade#edible plant#white flowers#semi-evergreen#green flowers#weedy#tendrils#riparian#barrier#berries#prickles#moist soil#dioecious#thickets#glossy leaves#woodland#deciduous vine#native vine#acidic soil tolerant#winter fruits#native weed#perennial weed#sandy soils tolerant#wet soils tolerant#rocky soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#mammals#rapid#flies
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Smilax
    Species:
    rotundifolia
    Family:
    Smilacaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Stem prickles have been rubbed on the skin as a counter-irritant to relieve pain, muscle cramps, and twitching. Powdered leaves have been used as dressing on burns, wilted leaves as a poultice on boils. Leaves and stems have been made into a tea for the treatment of rheumatism and stomach problems.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada, Central and Southeastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    Found in the US east of Texas (but excluding North Dakota, Nebraska, Vermont). It ranges from Florida north into southern Ontario and Nova Scotia.
    Fire Risk Rating:
    extreme flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Wildlife that will eat the berries and leaves in the late winter and early spring are Northern Cardinals, white-throated sparrows, white-tailed deer, and rabbits. It provides protective cover for many birds and small mammals.
    Climbing Method:
    Tendrils
    Twining
    Edibility:
    Shoots can be cooked like asparagus. The young leaves can be prepared like spinach or added raw to salads. The roots have a natural gelling agent that can be used as a thickening agent. The cooked root is rich in starch and can be dried and ground into a powder for use in cakes and puddings. A soft drink resembling root beer or sarsaparilla can be made from the roots.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 3 in. - 20 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 5 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Vine
    Weed
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Dense
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Appendage:
    Tendrils
    Thorns
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Berries are blue-black with a whitish bloom at maturity, about ¼" across and round. Each berry contains 1-3 seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Tepals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Greenish-white flowers form in umbels of 3-20 flowers which are individually about 1/4 inch long. This genus is dioecious, with male and female flowers appearing on different plants (i.e. not self-fertile). Each flower hasf 6 yellowish green or green tepals that are joined together at the base. Male flowers have 6 stamens with white anthers. Female flowers have a greenish pistil with 3 short stigmata. The peduncle of each umbel is ½-¾" long.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Orbicular
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The upper surfaces of the leaves are darker green than the undersides. The leaves are 2-5 inches long, glabrous, rounded, alternate, with 3 to 5 primary veins per leaf. Minute prickles may be present along the lower surface of the veins.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Green
    Bark Description:
    The bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth, initially green, turning brown with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Sharply 4-angled with many scattered, stiff prickles, climbs with tendrils.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Vertical Spaces
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Security
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Problems:
    Spines/Thorns
    Weedy