roundleaf greenbrier

(Smilax rotundifolia)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

roundleaf greenbrier

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FAC - Facultative

Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Woodland openings, thickets, roadsides.

Flowering

May to June

     
Flower Color

Greenish-yellow

     
Height

Up to 20

     
 
Identification

This is a climbing, perennial, woody vine that rises on a single or multiple stems from a linear rhizome.

The stems are slender, green, woody, hairless, branching, and up to 20 long. They are usually 4-angled, sometimes round. They are armed with stout, flattened, up to ½ long prickles. The prickles are green with a black tip.

The leaves are alternate and deciduous. They are evenly distributed along the vine. They are on 3 16 to long leaf stalks. The leaf stalks are shorter than the leaf blades. There is a pair of up tendrils at the base of many of the leaf stalks. The leaf blades are broadly egg-shaped to nearly circular, 1½ to 6¾ long, and 1½ to 6¼ wide. They are heart-shaped to rounded at the base and rounded at the tip with a short, sharp, abrupt point at the tip. The upper surface is bright green, shiny, and hairless. The lower surface is the same color as the upper surface, hairless, and sometimes shiny. The lower surface is not covered with a whitish, waxy bloom (glaucous). There are 3, 5, or 7 conspicuous main veins that arch from the base of the leaf blade and converge toward the tip. The main veins are impressed on the upper surface, raised on the lower surface. The margin is not thickened, lobed, or toothed, but may have a few scattered, minute, tooth-like projections.

The inflorescence is an globe-shaped, 1½ in diameter, umbrella-like cluster (umbel) of 5 to 12, sometimes more, flowers rising from the leaf axils. The umbel is on a stalk that is up to long, shorter to slightly longer than the subtending leaf stalk.

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

The fruit is a glaucous, bluish-black to black, globular berry, ¼ to in diameter.

 
Similar
Species

Bristly greenbrier (Smilax tamnoides) has flexible, needle-like prickles. The fruit is not glaucous.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Smilacaceae (catbrier)

 
Synonyms

Smilax rotundifolia var. crenulata

Smilax rotundifolia var. quadrangularis

 
Common
Names

bullbrier

common catbriar

common greenbrier

greenbrier

horsebriar

roundleaf greenbriar

roundleaf greenbrier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

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

 

Glaucous

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

 

Linear

Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.

 

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.

       
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  roundleaf greenbrier   roundleaf greenbrier
       
       

 

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Other Videos
 
  Wild Edibles - The Common Greenbrier
The Backwoodsman's Institute
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 21, 2010

The Backwoodsman's Institute presents: Wild Edibles - The Common Greenbrier. In this video, Scott shares with you yet another wild edible, the common greenbrier. This edible you can eat raw right off the stem.

   
       

 

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