Common Names in English:
Downy Carrionflower, Downy Carrionflowe
, herbs, or vines
. Stems erect
, usually prickly, sometimes unarmed
. Leaves opposite or alternate, prominently 3-veined, reticulate
between veins, usually bearing tendrils
, usually leathery. Inflorescences umbellate
[or racemose or spicate
]. Flowers unisexual
on different plants
; tepals 6, distinct
, rarely united
into perianth tube
; stamens 2-3-whorled, anthers
1-locular; pistillate flowers bearing staminodes, pistil 3-carpellate; ovary 2-locular, 1-2 ovules per locule. Fruits baccate
. Seeds 1-3.
Genera 4(-12), species ca. 375 (1 genus, 20 species in the flora ) : worldwide, mainly tropical to subtropical , a few temperate .
The leaves of Smilacaceae are atypical of monocotyledons in being reticulate between major veins. The family is closely related to and sometimes included in Liliaceae. It differs mainly in leaf characteristics and in being dioecious.
, or herbs; rhizomes tuberous
, woody; roots
. Stems erect
or, more often, climbing
or branching, unarmed
with prickles; woody or herbaceous. Leaves deciduous or evergreen
, alternate; stipules present; tendrils
often present (few or rudimentary
in S. hugeri and S. ecirrhata, absent in S. biltmoreana), paired
, originating from petioles
, or, sometimes, reduced to scales
in herbaceous species, base
. Inflorescences umbellate
to leaves or bracts, loose
to dense, pedunculate
. Flowers unisexual
; tepals 6, greenish, yellow, or bronze, ovate to elliptic
; staminate flowers
sometimes with pistillode
, stamens 6, anthers
, dehiscence introrse
flowers with 6 staminodes, style short or absent, stigmas 3, recurved, ligulate
black, blue, purple, red, or orange. x
Species ca. 350: worldwide in the tropics and subtropics, with extensions into temperate areas.
The North American herbaceous species of Smilax (numbers 2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, and 15 in this treatment) traditionally have been placed in sect. Nemexia (Rafinesque) A. de Candolle. J. K . Mangaly (1968) concluded that the correct name for this group at that rank is sect. Coprosmanthus (Torrey) Bentham. The remaining North American species, all more or less woody, belong to sect. Smilax. The relatively small number of species (20) present in the flora does not warrant the elaboration of an updated subgeneric classification, which should take into account all species of the genus on a worldwide basis.
The leaves of Smilax are very unusual. A. Arber (1918, 1920) believed that the blade of Smilax is not equivalent to the lamina of a dicotyledon but is merely a pseudolamina representing an expansion of the upper region of the petiole. In this view , tendrils are also proliferations of the petiole and are not homologous to tendrils of dicotyledons. However, D. R. Kaplan (1973) remarked that unifacial monocotyledonous leaves never exhibit a lamina rudiment at the apex, and therefore there is no convincing argument that their apices are simply petiolar . He suggested that the terete leaf axis of monocotyledons is not merely an expanded petiole but is positionally equivalent to the lamina region of a dicotyledonous leaf. Smilax leaves lack an abscission layer, but the distal portion of the petiole undergoes a soft disintegration and the blade falls, leaving a rough end on the stub (W. C. Coker 1944).
Smilax has numerous uses. Sarsaparilla, a beverage and medicinal used against rheumatism, is obtained from the rhizomes of various species, mainly from Mexico and Central America. A jelly can be made from the rhizomes. The fleshy rhizomes of several vining species, most notably S. smallii, which have a texture of firm, crisp apples, were used by Native Americans and early settlers in the same manner as were potatoes, or else in making bread or mush. The young, succulent stems of several species are cooked and used as asparagus or the tender stems may be used in salads . Seeds were sometimes used as beads (Indian coral ) and a brown dye can be made from the roots of various species. Woody rhizomes were reportedly used by Native Americans and settlers in making pipes. Some species have been used in Native American (D. E. Moerman 1986) and folk medicine. All species of Smilax are excellent wildlife food and are also browsed, or the rhizomes dug and eaten, by domestic stock.
Species Smilax pulverulenta
Herbs. Stems annual , climbing , branching, to 2.5 m , herbaceous, glabrous ; prickles absent. Leaves evenly distributed; petiole ± equaling blade ; tendrils numerous , long, functional; blade lustrous, dark green abaxially, narrowly to broadly ovate , 8-16 × 3.5-9 cm, often with minute, whitish pubescence abaxially mostly on veins, with transparent trichomes , base cordate, margins entire, convex , apex long-acuminate; leaves on branches with oblong , smaller blade. Umbels numerous, axillary to leaves, 10-35-flowered, globose ; peduncle equaling or shorter than subtending leaf. Flowers: perianth greenish; tepals 3.5-5 mm; anthers shorter than filaments , ovules (1-) 2 per locule; pedicel 0.5-2.2 cm. Berries black, subglobose, 8-10 mm, not glaucous. 2n = 26. [source]
Habit: Vine , Forb/herb
Flowers: Bloom Period: April, May, June.
Rich woods , thickets, usually in calcareous soils; 0--900 m (Ref. 102248).
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- (J.d. Hooker, in Le Maout & Decaisne, 1873) Takhtajan, 1997 Ex Reveal & Doweld, 1999
- Order: Liliales () - Perleb, 1826
- Superorder: Dioscoreanae () - (J.d. Hooker, in Le Maout & Decaisne, 1873) Takhtajan, 1997 Ex Reveal & Doweld, 1999
- Subclass: Liliidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Nemexia pulverulenta (Michx.) Small • Smilax herbacea L. var. pulverulenta (Michx.) Gray • Smilax herbacea Linnaeus var. pulverulenta (Michaux) A. Gray • Smilax herbacea pulverulenta (Michx.) Gray • Smilax herbacea var. pulverulenta (Michx.) Gray
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: 09-Jul-2004
Members of the genus Smilax
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 31 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
S. aristolochiifolia (Sarsaparilla) · S. aspera (Rough Bindweed) · S. auriculata (Catbrier) · S. australis (Barbwire Vine) · S. biltmoreana (Biltmore's Carrionflower) · S. bona-nox (Cowvine Smilax Bona-Nox) · S. californica (California Greenbrier) · S. china (China Root) · S. coriacea (Everglades Greenbrier) · S. ecirrata (Carrionflower) · S. ecirrhata (Carrion Flower) · S. glauca (Cat Greenbrier) · S. glauca var. glauca (Sawbrier) · S. herbacea (Carrion Flower Vine) · S. herbacea lasioneuron (Blue Ridge Carrion-Flower) · S. hugeri (Huger's Carrionflower) · S. illinoensis (Illinois Greenbrier) · S. jamesii (English Peak Greenbrier) · S. lasioneura (Blue Ridge Carrion-Flower) · S. lasioneuron (Blue Ridge Carrion-Flower) · S. laurifolia (Bamboo Vine) · S. melastomifolia (Aka'awa) · S. pseudochina (Bamboo Vine) · S. pulverulenta (Downy Carrionflower) · S. pumila (Dwarf Smilax) · S. regelii (Jamaican Sarsaparilla) · S. renifolia (Kidneyleaf Greenbrier) · S. rotundifolia (Bull Briar) · S. smallii (Jackson Vine) · S. tamnoides (Bristly Greenbriar) · S. walteri (Coral Greenbrier)
- Search for Pictures: images.google.com
- Search for Scholarly Articles: Google Scholar
- Search using Scientific Name and Vernacular Names: All the Web | AltaVista Canada | AltaVista | Excite | Google | HotBot | Lycos
- Search using Specialized Databases: GenBank | Medline | Scirus | CISTI/CAL | Agricola Periodicals | Agricola Books
- An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British possessions: from Newfoundland to the parallel of the southern boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean westward to the 102d meridian / by Nathaniel Lord Britton and Hon. Addison Brown. New York: C. Scribner's sons, 1913. url p. 527.
- Annotated list of the ferns and flowering plants of New York state, by Homer D. House. Albany, The University of the state of New York, 1924. url p. 229.
- Annual report of the New Jersey State Museum. Trenton, N.J.: MacCrellish & Quigley, url p. 351.
- Bartonia;proceedings of the Philadelphia botanical club. .. 1 - 10 1908 - 19 Philadelphia, Philadelphia Botanical Club, Academy of Natural Sciences. url p. 24.
- Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 43 1916 New York: Torrey Botanical Club, 1870-1996 url p. 410, p. 414, p. 420, p. 422.
- Contributions from the Botanical Laboratory. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1892- url .
- Contributions from the New York Botanical Garden. New York: The Garden, 1899- url p. 420.
- Contributions from the United States National Herbarium 21 1919 Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1890- url p. 124, p. 125.
- Erigenia: journal of the Illinois Native Plant Society. Carbondale, Ill.: The Society, 1982- url p. 13, p. 16, p. 40, p. 61.
- Flora of Delaware and the Eastern Shore: an annotated list of the ferns and flowering plants of the peninsula of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. [Wilmington]: Society of Natural History of Delaware, 1946. url p. 86.
- Flora of Illinois, containing keys for identification of flowering plants and ferns. Notre Dame, Ind., University of Notre Dame Press, 1963. url p. 285.
- Flora of Indiana, by Charles C. Deam. Indianapolis, Wm. B. Burford printing co., contractor for state printing and binding, 1940. url p. 324, p. 326.
- Flora of the District of Columbia and vicinity. By A.S. Hitchcock and Paul C. Standley, with the assistance of the botanists of Washington. WashingtonGovt. print. off.1919 url p. 124, p. 125.
- Flora of the southeastern United States; being descriptions of the seed-plants, ferns and fern-allies growing naturally in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and in Oklahom by John Kunkel Small. New York, The author, 1913. url p. 1329, p. 281.
- Illinois River Bluffs area assessment / Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Scientific Research and Analysis, [and the] State Geological Survey Division. Springfield, Ill.: Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources, 1998- url p. 185.
- Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences. Washington [etc., Washington Academy of Sciences] url p. 519.
- List of Pteridophyta and Spermatophyta growing without cultivation in northeastern North America. Prepared by a Committee of the Botanical Club, American Association for the Advancement of Science. New York, 1894. url p. 116.
- Manual of the flora of the northern states and Canada / by Nathaniel Lord Britton. New York: Holt, 1905. url p. 276.
- Michigan flora: a list of the fern and seed plants growing without cultivation / prepared by W.J. Beal. [Lansing, Mich.]: State Board of Agriculture: 1904. url .
- Minnesota trees and shrubs: an illustrated manual of the native and cultivated woody plants of the State / Frederic E. Clements, C. Otto Rosendahl, Frederic K. Butters. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1912. url p. 300.
- National list of scientific plant names. [Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, 1982- url p. 387.
- Phytologia memoirs. Plainfield, N.J.: H.N. Moldenke and A.L. Moldenke, 1980- url p. 188.
- Phytologia. Bronx Park, New York, H.A. Gleason and H.N. Moldenke, url p. 367.
- Plant life of Alabama, an account of the distribution, modes of association, and adaptations of the flora of Alabama, together with a systematic catalogue of the plants growing in the state. By Charles Mohr. .. Montgomery, Ala., Brown printing co., 1901. url p. 444.
- Plant life of Alabama. An account of the distribution, modes of association, and adaptations of the flora of Alabama, together with a systematic catalogue of the plants growing in the state. Prepared in cooperationwith the Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1901. url .
- Proceedings of the Delaware County Institute of Science. Media, Pa.: The Institute, 1906- url p. 70.
- Reports of the Survey. Botanical series. Minneapolis [etc.]1892- url p. 300.
- Small, J. K. Flora of the southeastern United States;being descriptions of the seed-plants, ferns and fern-allies growing naturally in North Carolina, South Carolin, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and the Indian territory and in Oklahoma and Texas east of the one-hundredth meridian /by John Kunkel Small. .. 1903 New York: The author, 1903. url p. 1329.
- The American midland naturalist. Notre Dame, Ind., University of Notre Dame. url p. 113, p. 242.
- The Metaspermae of the Minnesota Valley. A list of the higher seed-producing plants indigenous to the drainage-basin of the Minnesota River, Minneapolis[Harrison & Smith, State Printers]1892. url .
- The Metaspermae of the Minnesota valley; a list of the higher seed-producing plants indigenous to the drainage-basin of the Minnesota river. Minneapolis[Harrison & Smith, State Printers]1892 url p. 158.
- The Ohio journal of science. Columbus, Ohio, The Ohio State University and the Ohio Academy of Science url p. 122, p. 442.
- The plants of Southern New Jersey with especial reference to the flora of the pine barrens and the geographic distribution of the species. Trenton, N. J., 1911. url .
- The plants of Southern New Jersey; with especial reference to the flora of the Pine Barrens and the geographic distribution of the species. Trenton, 1911. url p. 351.
- The plants of southern New Jersey; with especial reference to the flora of the pine barrens and the geographic distribution of the species. Trenton, 1911. url p. 351.
- Arber, A. 1920. Tendrils of Smilax. Bot. Gaz. 69: 438-442.
- Coker, W. C. 1944. The woody smilaxes of the United States. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 60: 27-69, plates 9-39.
- Duncan, W. H. 1975. Woody Vines of the Southeastern United States. Athens, Ga.
- Fernald, M. L. 1944. Overlooked species, transfers, and novelties in the flora of eastern North America. Rhodora 46: 1-28, 32-60.
- Judd, W. S. 1998. The Smilacaceae in the southeastern United States. Harvard Pap. Bot. 3: 147-169.
- Mangaly, J. K. 1968. A cytotaxonomic study of the herbaceous species of Smilax: Section Coprosmanthus. Rhodora 70: 55-82, 247-273.
- Morong, T. 1894. The Smilaceae [sic] of North and Central America. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 21: 419-448.
- Pennell, F. W. 1916b. Notes on plants of the southern United States -- II. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 43: 409-421.
- Wang Fa-tsuan & Tang Tsin, eds. 1978; 1980. Liliaceae. Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 15: 1--280; 14: 1--308.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 01, 2008:
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2669385
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Kew-288893
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13730887
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:541775-1
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 505257
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 238002-2
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: SMHEP2
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 51608