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Smilax pumila Walter

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Smilax pumila
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Smilax pumila

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Associates · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Botryosphaeriaceae  Phyllosticta smilacina @ BPI (1)
Miridae  Orthotylus sp_ms_lepidothrix @ AMNH_PBI (1)

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Following modified from Plants Database, United States Department of Agriculture
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https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SMPU ---> http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=SMPU
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Smilax pumila Walter
sarsparilla vine

Image of Smilax pumila

General Information
Symbol: SMPU
Group: Monocot
Family: Smilacaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit : Shrub
Native Status : L48   N
Data Source and Documentation
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Plants-NRCS Logos
green round image for nativity Native blue round image for introduced Introduced ocre round image for introduced and nativity Both white round image for no status Absent/Unreported
image for native, but no county data Native, No County Data image for introduced, but no county data Introduced, No County Data both introduced and native, but no county data Both, No County Data
Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   


click on a thumbnail to view an image, or see all the Smilax thumbnails at the Plants Gallery

©James H. Miller. James H. Miller and Karl V. Miller. 2005. Forest plants of the southeast and their wildlife uses. University of Georgia Press., Athens. Provided by University of Georgia Press . Scanned by Forestry Images . Usage Requirements .

Jose Hernandez. Provided by ARS Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory . United States, TX, Buna. Usage Requirements .

Jose Hernandez. Provided by ARS Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory . United States, TX, Buna. Usage Requirements .

©Jeff McMillian. Provided by Almost Eden . United States, LA. Usage Requirements .



Symbol Scientific Name
SMHU2 Smilax humilis Mill., nom. utique rej.


Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass Liliidae
Order Liliales
Family Smilacaceae – Catbrier family
Genus Smilax L. – greenbrier
Species Smilax pumila Walter – sarsparilla vine

Subordinate Taxa

This plant has no children

Legal Status

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

North America
Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain UPL
Eastern Mountains and Piedmont UPL
Great Plains FAC

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
Flora of North America (SMPU)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (SMPU)
USF Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (SMPU)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds
Miller Low Low Low


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Miller, J.H., and K.V. Miller. 1999. Forest plants of the southeast and their wildlife uses . Southern Weed Science Society.

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover
High Average 25-50% of diet Regular source of cover
Low 5-10% of diet Infrequently used as cover
Minor 2-5% of diet Sparsely used as cover
Moderate Average 10-25% of diet Occasional source of cover

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Following modified from Flora of North America
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Link to Flora of North America home
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FNA Vol. 26 Page 470, 476 Login | eFloras Home | Help
FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Smilacaceae | Smilax

16. Smilax pumila Walter, Fl. Carol. 244. 1788.

Sarsaparilla vine

Smilax humilis Miller, name proposed for rejection; S. pubera Michaux; S. puberula Kunth

Subshrubs or vines; rhizomes black, knotted, 5—6 × 2 cm, often with white to pinkish stolons. Stems perennial, prostrate to clambering, branching, slender, to 1 m, ± woody, densely woolly-pubescent, usually prickly (especially at base). Leaves mostly evergreen, ± evenly disposed; petiole 0.05—0.25 cm, often longer on sterile shoots; blade gray-green, drying to ashy gray-green, obovate to ovate-lanceolate, with 3 prominent veins, 6—10.5 × 5—8 cm, glabrous adaxially, densely puberulent abaxially, base cordate to deeply notched, margins entire, apex bluntly pointed. Umbels 1—7, axillary to leaves, 5—16-flowered, loose, spherical; peduncle 0.2—0.8 cm, shorter than to 1.5 as long as petiole of subtending leaf. Flowers: perianth yellowish; tepals 3—4 mm; anthers much shorter than filaments; ovule 1 per locule; pedicel thin, 0.1—0.4 cm. Berries red, ovoid, 5—8 mm, with acute beaks, not glaucous.

Flowering Oct--Nov. Woods, along streams, sandy soil; Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., S.C., Tex.

The red, pointed fruits and densely pubescent herbage of Smilax pumila are distinctive. In Louisiana, the dried leaves are used to prepare a tea for upset stomach.

The name Smilax humilis Miller, which predates S. pumila by 20 years and recently has been determined to apply also to this species, has been proposed for rejection (J. L. Reveal 2000). If that proposal is not adopted, the correct name will be S. humilis.

Updated: 2018-11-18 18:41:36 gmt
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