Blue Ridge carrionflower

(Smilax lasioneura)

Conservation Status
Blue Ridge carrionflower
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Blue Ridge carrionflower is an annual, non-woody (herbaceous), climbing vine that rises from a rhizome. It is the most common and widespread species of Smilax in Minnesota.

The stems are green and almost always branched. They extend up to 80 to 100 in length. They are soft and easily crushed between fingers, even when dry. They are not armed with bristles or prickles. Young stems are erect or ascending. Mature stems are climbing.

There are more than 25 leaves on a mature stem. The leaves are alternate and deciduous, and are distributed evenly on the stem. They are on hairless, to 3½ long leaf stalks (petioles) that are shorter than the leaf blades. Nearly every leaf axil bears a pair of long, conspicuously curled tendrils that cling to adjacent plants or structures for support. The leaf blades are narrowly to broadly egg-shaped or nearly round, 1½ to 3½ long, and 1¼ to 2 wide. They are wedge-shaped or shallowly heart-shaped at the base. The leaf tips may be broadly rounded; tapered with convex sides along the tip; or rounded with a short, sharp, abrupt point, at the tip. The upper surface is green, hairless, and not shiny. The lower surface is light green or grayish-green, not shiny, and often somewhat covered with a whitish, waxy coating (glaucous). The veins on the underside are sparsely to densely covered with minute, transparent, flattened hairs. The margins are untoothed and is not thickened. There are 3, 5, or 7 conspicuous veins that arch from the base of the leaf blade and converge toward the tip.

The inflorescence is a globe-shaped, umbrella-like cluster (umbel) of up to 35 flowers rising singly from middle and upper leaf axils. Each stem may have several umbels. The stalk of the umbel (peduncle) is 2 to 4¾ long, 1 to 5 times as long as the petiole of the subtending leaf. Each umbel is about 3½ in diameter and has up to 35 flowers.

Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. There are 3 green to greenish-yellow, strap-shaped, 1 to 1¾ long petals and 3 similar sepals (6 tepals). The male flowers have 6 stamens with yellow anthers. They appear in May to June.

The fruit is a dark blue to nearly black, glaucous, globular berry, 5 16 to in diameter.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

Climbing vine: 80 to 100 in length

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Green to yellowish-green

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Woodlands, woodland borders and openings, thickets, fencerows, roadsides, and other open areas. Full or partial sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

May to June

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

 

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 30.

 
  11/11/2021      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common and widespread

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Liliopsida (monocots)  
 

Order

Liliales (lilies, supplejacks, and allies)  
 

Family

Smilacaceae (catbrier)  
 

Genus

Smilax (greenbriar)  
  Section Nemexia  
       
 

There are two distinct groups within the genus Smilax. One group, section Nemexia, has herbaceous unarmed stems that die back to the ground each year. The second group, section Smilax, has woody perennial stems with thorns. Plants in the former group, including Blue Ridge carrionflower, were formerly classified in the genus Nemexia, which is now considered invalid.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Nemexia lasioneura

Smilax herbacea var. lasioneura

Smilax lasioneuron

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Blue Ridge carrion-flower

Blue Ridge carrionflower

common carrion flower

hairy carrion-flower

midwestern carrionflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where a branch, stem, leaf stalk, or vein diverges.

 

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Glaucous

Pale green or bluish gray due to a whitish, powdery or waxy film, as on a plum or a grape.

 

Herbaceous

Not woody. A plant without a persistent, above-ground, woody stem, with the leaves and stems usually dying back to the ground at the end of the growing season.

 

Peduncle

In angiosperms, the stalk of a single flower or a flower cluster; in club mosses, the stalk of a strobilus or a group of strobili.

 

Petiole

The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

Tepal

Refers to both the petals and the sepals of a flower when they are similar in appearance and difficult to tell apart. Tepals are common in lilies and tulips.

 

Umbel

A flat-topped or convex, umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers or buds arising from more or less a single point.

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this plant.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Luciearl

 
    Blue Ridge carrionflower   Blue Ridge carrionflower  
           
 

August and September pic of same plant.

 
   

August...

     
    Blue Ridge carrionflower   Blue Ridge carrionflower  
           
   

...then ripening in Sept.

     
    Blue Ridge carrionflower      
 

Bill Reynolds

 
    Blue Ridge carrionflower   Blue Ridge carrionflower  
           
    Blue Ridge carrionflower      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Vine

 
    Blue Ridge carrionflower      
           
 

Leaves

 
    Blue Ridge carrionflower   Blue Ridge carrionflower  
           
 

Infructescence

 
    Blue Ridge carrionflower      
           
 

Fruit

 
    Blue Ridge carrionflower      

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
 
     
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this plant.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
     
     
     

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this plant.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Luciearl
11/10/2021

Location: Lake Shore

Blue Ridge carrionflower  
  Luciearl
August and September 2018

Location: Lake Shore, MN

Blue Ridge carrionflower  
  Bill Reynolds
9/11/2014

Location: Pennington Co.

Blue Ridge carrionflower  
  Bill Reynolds
10/11/2013

Location: Pennington Co.

Blue Ridge carrionflower  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2021 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.