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Smilax tamnoides is often confused with:
Smilax rotundifolia Smilax rotundifolia
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Smilax rotundifolia Smilax rotundifolia
Smilax glabra
Smilax smallii Smilax smalli

Smilax tamnoides

Previously known as:

  • Dilax muricata
  • Smilax grandifolia
  • Smilax hispida
  • Smilax hispida var. australis
  • Smilax hispida var. montana
  • Smilax medica
  • Smilax tamnoides var. hispida
Phonetic Spelling
SMIL-aks tam-NOY-deez
Description

Bristly Greenbrier is a climbing, prickly vine that uses tendrils to climb over shrubs or the lower branches of trees. This woody vine spreads vegetatively by rhizomes or by reseeding itself. Habitats include moist deciduous woods, thickets, floodplains, wooded slopes, bluffs, stream and river banks.

The species is dioecious, an individual plant is unisexual so both male and female plants must be grown in order to produce seed.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#sun#deciduous#white flowers#shade tolerant#green flowers#yellow flowers#weedy#tendrils#spring flowers#slopes#riparian#high maintenance#berries#erosion control#moist soil#NC native#well-drained soil#climbing vines#summer flowers#dappled sunlight#dioecious#dense#rhizomes#caterpillars#thickets#prickly#reseeds#woodland#native vine#acidic soil tolerant#alkaline soil tolerant#pollinator plant#food source fall#food source herbage#mammals#flies#food source mid-summer#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#larval host#perennial vine#non-toxic for cats
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#sun#deciduous#white flowers#shade tolerant#green flowers#yellow flowers#weedy#tendrils#spring flowers#slopes#riparian#high maintenance#berries#erosion control#moist soil#NC native#well-drained soil#climbing vines#summer flowers#dappled sunlight#dioecious#dense#rhizomes#caterpillars#thickets#prickly#reseeds#woodland#native vine#acidic soil tolerant#alkaline soil tolerant#pollinator plant#food source fall#food source herbage#mammals#flies#food source mid-summer#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#larval host#perennial vine#non-toxic for cats
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Smilax
    Species:
    tamnoides
    Family:
    Smilacaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The prickles can be rubbed on the skin as a counter-irritant to relieve localized pains, muscle cramps, and twitching. Tea can be made from the leaves and stems for rheumatism and stomach problems. The wilted leaves have been used to treat boils. The crushed root has been used to wash leg ulcers.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    Ontario, central and eastern U.S.A., Mexico
    Wildlife Value:
    It is insect-pollinated by both bees and flies .Moth caterpillars feed on the leaves. Game birds and songbirds feed on the berries during fall and winter. Black Bears, Raccoons, and other mammals will also eat the berries. White-Tailed Deer may eat the foliage and stems.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Climbing Method:
    Tendrils
    Edibility:
    Young leaves, shoots, and tendrils can be added to salads
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Climbing
    Dense
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
    Appendage:
    Prickles
  • 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
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    A berry is about ΒΌ" in diameter, dark blue or black, and contains 1-3 seeds
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Tepals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Each male has 6 yellow/white/green tepals and 6 stamens. Each female has 5 yellow/grey/green tepals, a single ovary, and a short tripartite style. The ovary is ovoid, shiny, and green.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Insignificant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are up to 5" long and 4" wide, oval to broadly ovate/obovate, smooth margins (or possibly denticulate, but not visible without magnification), rounded to pointed at the tip, rounded to heart-shaped at the base and hairless. A leaf has 3-7 parallel veins; its upper surface is green, the lower surface is a lighter green. Leaves along the stem have a pair of tendrils at the base of the 3/4" stalk.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Description:
    Lower stems have straight spines and stiff bristles, while upper stems seldom have spines. Spines and bristles darken to brown or black with age.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Riparian
    Slope/Bank
    Vertical Spaces
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Spines/Thorns
    Weedy