Smilax tamnoides L.

Bristly Greenbrier, Chinaroot

Family: Smilacaceae

Genus: Smilax

Category: Vine - Deciduous

Size: Climbing to 25'

Exposure: Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Alternate leaves, to 5" long, parallel veins, shiny green above but paler below. Stems are covered in black prickles and have tendrils in pairs for climbing. Yellow-green flowers in clusters in spring followed by blue-black berries to 0.25" diameter late summer and into winter.


Published in Sp. Pl. 2: 1030 in 1753. Lectotype = "Smilax Bryoniae nigrae foliis caule spinosa, baccis nigris" in Catesby's Natural History Volume I Plate 52.

Native to eastern Canada and eastern and central US.


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner