upright carrionflower

(Smilax ecirrhata)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

upright carrionflower

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Common

Habitat

Woods

Flowering

May to June

     
Flower Color

Green to yellowish-green

     
Height

12 to 36

     

Identification

This is a 12 to 36 tall, erect to leaning, perennial forb that rises from a rhizome. It is not a vine.

The stems are annual, unbranched, and green, not woody. They are not armed with bristles or prickles. They may have a few short tendrils or no tendrils at all. They do not climb.

There are usually 7 to 9 leaves, though there may be as many as 20. The leaves on the lower portion of the stem are reduced to triangular, leaf-like bracts. The principal leaves are alternate and are more or less crowded at the end of the stem. They are on thin leaf stalks that are shorter than the leaf blade. The leaf blade is thin, broadly egg-shaped to almost round, 3½ to 4¾ long, and 2 to 3½ wide. They are rounded at the tip, sometimes with a short, sharp, abrupt tip, and heart-shaped at the base. The upper surface is green and hairless with 3 to 7 conspicuous veins that arch from the base of the leaf blade and converge toward the tip. The lower surface is light green or grayish-green, is not glaucous, and is covered with minute, white, flattened hairs. The margin has scattered, minute, tooth-like projections. The margin is not thickened or lobed.

The inflorescence is 1 to 3 globe-shaped, umbrella-like clusters (umbels) rising from the axils of bracts on the lower, leafless portion of the stem. Each umbel has 8 to 25 flowers and is on a 2 to 4 long stalk.

Each flower has 3 green to yellowish-green, strap-shaped petals and 3 similar sepals (6 tepals). The male flower has 6 stamens with yellow anthers. The flowers appear in late May to late June.

The fruit is a purplish-black, globular berry, to 7 16 in diameter. It is usually not glaucous at maturity.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Smilacaceae (catbrier)

 
Synonyms

Nemexia ecirrata

 
Common
Names

greenbriar

upright carrion-flower

upright 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 or flower cluster.

 

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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  upright carrionflower   upright carrionflower
       

Leaves

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