Smilax Genus cat-briar; carrion-flower Smilacaceae

Smilax rotundifolia.© Copyright Steve Baskauf,

Smilax rotundifolia.tendrils.© Copyright Steve Baskauf, (Accessed 6/2015).

Smilax is a genus of woody or herbaceous slender, climbing vines; monocotyledons, arising from a creeping rhizome; stems bearing a pair of tendrils from the base of the leaf stalk (petiole); the woody species armed with straight prickles; young stems green, stems never becoming thicker with age (as with stems of monocotyledons in general).


Smilax rotundifolia.stems and (Accessed 5/2014).

Leaves alternate, simple, veins arising from the top of the leaf stalk (petiole), becoming parallel and meeting again at the leaf tip; margins entire,

Flowers yellow or greenish, small, dioecious (males and females on separate plants); bilaterally symmetrical (regular), petals and sepals the same (tepals), spreading, each in a whorl of three, style very short; inflorescence of umbrella-shaped clusters or sets of clusters.

Fruit fleshy (a berry), ours dark blue to black.