Michaux, Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 238. 1803.
Smilax herbacea Linnaeus var. pulverulenta (Michaux) A. Gray
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.
Flowering Apr--Jun. Rich woods, thickets, usually in calcareous soils; 0--900 m; Ark., Del., D.C., Ill., Ind., Ky., Md., Minn., Mo., Nebr., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Pa., Tenn., Va., W.Va.
The distribution of Smilax pulverulenta is disjunct. The eastern distribution is centered in the mid-Atlantic United States, while the western distribution is centered in the Ozark Plateau of Missouri.