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Smilax rotundifolia - L.

Common Name Horse Brier, Roundleaf greenbrier, Brambles
Family Smilacaceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Moist to dryish thickets and woods[43]. Considered to be an obnoxious pest in America[43].
Range Eastern N. America - Nova Scotia to Florida, west to Texas and Illinois.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Smilax rotundifolia Horse Brier, Roundleaf greenbrier, Brambles


Smilax rotundifolia Horse Brier, Roundleaf greenbrier, Brambles

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Green, White, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Smilax rotundifolia is a deciduous Climber growing to 12 m (39ft 4in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower in June. The species is dioecious (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). . The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

S. caduca.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses: Drink.

Root - cooked[2, 102, 161, 257]. Rich in starch[105]. The root can be dried and ground into a powder that is used in making cakes, puddings, sweet drinks etc[46, 183], it can also be made into a jelly or eaten in soups[159]. A beer resembling root beer or sarsaparilla is made from the roots[183]. Young shoots - raw or cooked[62, 102, 105, 159]. They can be added to salads or cooked like asparagus[183].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Birthing aid;  Poultice;  Rubefacient.

The stem prickles have been rubbed on the skin as a counter-irritant to relieve localised pains, muscle cramps and twitching[222]. A tea made from the leaves and stems has been used in the treatment of rheumatism and stomach problems[222]. The parched and powdered leaves have been used as a dressing on burns and scalds[257]. The wilted leaves have been used as a poultice on boils[222, 257]. A tea made from the roots is used to help the expelling of afterbirth[222]. Reports that the roots contain the hormone testosterone have not been confirmed, they might contain steroid precursors, however[222].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils in sun or semi-shade[1, 200]. A very free growing plant, it can be used to clamber over large trees, shrubs or tree stumps[1, 200]. Hardy to about -20°c[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features:North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation

Seed - sow March in a warm greenhouse[1]. This note probably refers to the tropical members of the genus, seeds of plants from cooler areas seem to require a period of cold stratification, some species taking 2 or more years to germinate[K]. We sow the seed of temperate species in a cold frame as soon as we receive it, and would sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if we could obtain it then[K]. When the seedlings eventually germinate, prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first year, though we normally grow them on in pots for 2 years. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in early spring as new growth begins[238]. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer. Cuttings of half-ripe shoots, July in a frame[238].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Smilax chinaChina Root43
Smilax cordifolia 10
Smilax discotis 10
Smilax febrifugaEcuadorian Sarsaparilla34
Smilax glabratufuling23
Smilax glaucaCat Greenbrier22
Smilax glyciphyllaSarsparilla11
Smilax herbaceaCarrion Flower, Smooth carrionflower41
Smilax hispidaHag Briar22
Smilax lanceifolia 21
Smilax laurifoliaLaurel Greenbrier32
Smilax nipponica 32
Smilax officinalisHonduran sarsaparilla24
Smilax pseudochinaFalse China Root32
Smilax riparia 20
Smilax sieboldii 10
Smilax tamnoidesBristly Greenbrier22
Smilax trinervula 10

 

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Author

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Botanical References

11200.27

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Subject : Smilax rotundifolia  
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