Common Greenbriar

Botanical Name : Smilax rotundifolia
Family: Smilacaceae
Genus: Smilax
Species: S. rotundifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Order: Liliales

Synonyms:
Smilax rotundifolia L.

SMROC Smilax rotundifolia L. var. crenulata Small & A. Heller
SMROQ Smilax rotundifolia L. var. quadrangularis (Muhl. ex Willd.) Alph. Wood

Common Name :Common Greenbriar,Bamboo Brier,roundleaf greenbrier

Habitat : Native to the Eastern United States.Common greenbriar grows in roadsides, landscapes, clearings and woods. When it is growing around a clearing, it often forms dense and impassable thickets . It grows throughout the Eastern United States, as far north as Illinois, south to Florida and as far west as Texas .

Description:
Common Greenbriar is a common woody vine. Common greenbriar climbs other plants using green tendrils growing out of the petioles

 

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Leaf: Alternate, simple, rounded to cordate, 2 to 5 inches long, parallel veined, entire margins, shiny green above, paler below.

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Flower: Monoecious; small light yellow-green, borne in small round clusters in late spring.

Fruit: Dark blue to black berries, borne in clusters, often covered with a powdery, waxy bloom; maturing in late summer and persist over winter.

Twig: Stout, green, usually sharply 4-angled with many scattered, stiff prickles, climbs with tendrils; very tough and stiff but new spring sprouts are tender and edible.

Bark: Remaining green for a long period of time, turning brown on old stems.

Form: Most often a climbing vine, but may also form a small, tangled bush.

Edible Uses:
The young shoots of common greenbriar are reported to be excellent when cooked like asparagus . The young leaves and tendrils can be prepared like spinach or added directly to salads . The roots have natural gelling agent in them that can be extracted and used as a thickening agent

Medicinal Uses:
The stem prickles have been rubbed on the skin as a counter-irritant to relieve localized pains, muscle cramps and twitching.  A tea made from the leaves and stems has been used in the treatment of rheumatism and stomach problems.  The parched and powdered leaves have been used as a dressing on burns and scalds. The wilted leaves have been used as a poultice on boils. A tea made from the roots is used to help the expelling of afterbirth

Resources:
http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=127
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smilax_rotundifolia
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SMRO&photoID=smro_003_ahp.tif

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