Common Greenbrier, Smilax rotundifolia
Smilacaceae or Greenbrier Family
(formerly in the Liliaceae, or Lily Family)


A high-climbing vine, using tendrils from the bases on the leaf stalks. Stems green, with many stout thorns. Leaves not opposite each other, heart-shaped or egg-shaped, 2 to 5 inches, toothless, and with veins that are parallel. Leaves may be partially evergreen. Flowers tiny, green with six petals, often unnoticed, in the early summer. Fruit a berry, ripening blue-black.

A common native woodland vine, sometimes forming nearly impenetrable thickets. Other common names reflect it's vicious side: hellfetter, blasphemy vine or tramp's troubles. Occasional throughout the Park.


Easily distinguished from vines that are not greenbriers by the parallel leaf veins and the thorns. Wild yam and carrion flower are vines with similar leaves, but are non-woody and lack thorns. Bristly greenbrier (S. tamnoides) is similar, but has many weak bristly thorns. It is less common in the Park.  
Young infructescence

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