Tag Archives: Smilax

Smilax ornata

Botanical Name : Smilax ornata
Family: Smilacaceae
Genus:     Smilax
Species: S. regelii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Liliales

Synonyms:Smilax regelii, Smilax Medica. Red-bearded Sarsaparilla

Common names:Sarsaparilla, Honduran sarsaparilla, and Jamaican sarsaparilla,Sarsaparilla,  khao yen, saparna, smilace, smilax, zarzaparilla, jupicanga

Habitat: Smilax ornata is native to South America, Jamaica, the Caribbean, Mexico, Honduras, and the West Indies. Principally Costa Rica.

Description:
Smilax ornata is a large perennial climber, rhizome underground, large, short, knotted, with thickened nodes and roots spreading up to 6 or 8 feet long. Stems erect, semiwoody, with very sharp prickles 1/2 inch long. Leaves large, alternate stalked, almost evergreen with prominent veins, seven nerved mid-rib very strongly marked.  It produces small flowers and black, blue, or red berry-like fruits which are eaten greedily by birds. Cortex thick and brownish, with an orange red tint; when chewed it tinges the saliva, and gives a slightly bitter and mucilaginous taste, followed by a very acrid one; it contains a small proportion of starch, also a glucoside, sarsaponin, sarsapic acid, and fatty acids, palmitic, stearic, behenic, oleic and linolic.

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Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Root.
Smilax regelii was considered by Native Americans to have medicinal properties, and was a popular European treatment for syphilis when it was introduced from the New World. From 1820 to 1910, it was registered in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia as a treatment for syphilis. Modern users claim it is effective for eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, herpes, and leprosy, along with a variety of other complaints. There is no peer-reviewed research available for these claims. There is, however, peer-reviewed research suggesting that S. regelii extracts have in vitro antioxidant properties, like many other herbs.

Sarsaparilla has been used for centuries by the indigenous peoples of Central and South America for sexual impotence, rheumatism, skin ailment, and a tonic for physical weakness. Sarsaparilla root was used by South American indigenous tribes as a general tonic where New World traders found it and introduced it into European medicine in the 1400’s. European physicians considered it an alterative tonic, blood purifier, diuretic and diaphoretic.

Other Uses:
Smilax regelii is used as the basis for a soft drink, frequently called Sarsaparilla. It is also a primary ingredient in old fashioned-style root beer, in conjunction with sassafras, which was more widely available prior to studies of its potential health risks.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smilax_regelii
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sarjam17.html
http://www.theherbprof.com/hrbSarsaparilla.htm

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Smilax lanceolata

Botanical Name : Smilax lanceolata
Family : Smilacaceae
Gender : Smilax
Species : S. laurifolia
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Liliopsida
Subclass: Liliidae
Order : Liliales

Synonymy:
*Parillax laurifolia (L.) Raf.
*Smilax alba Pursh
*Smilax hastata var. lanceolata (L.) Pursh
*Smilax lanceolata L.
*Smilax laurifolia var. bupleurifolia A.DC.
*Smilax reticulata Std.

Common Name :Red China Root

Habitat : Smilax lanceolata is native to South-eastern N. America – New Jersey to Florida and Texas.It grows on swamps and low ground. Moist woods and thickets. Bays, bogs, pocosins, swamp margins, marshy banks.

Description:
Smilax laurifolia is an evergreen Climber growing to 6 m (19ft 8in). It is a vine that forms extensive colonies woody, with rhizomes irregularly branched, tuberous. Stems perennial cylindrical reaching 5 + m in length and 15 mm in diameter, dark spines, flat 12 mm rigid. The leaves are evergreen, ± evenly arranged, with petiole 0.5-1.5 cm, green undersides, dried light brown to brownish green, oblong-elliptic, lance-elliptic, or sometimes linear or broadly ovate , leathery. The inflorescence in umbels numerous, axillary to leaves, branches usually short, 5-12 (-25) flowers. The perianth yellow, cream or white, petals 4-5 mm. The fruits as berries ovoid, 5-8 mm, shiny black, glaucous. The stems of Smilax laurifolia are brutally armed with thorns.

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It is hardy to zone 8. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils in sun or semi-shade. This species is not very hardy in Britain. It succeeds outdoors in S.W. England, but even there it is best when grown against a wall. The fruit takes two growing seasons to ripen. The stems have viscious thorns. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required

Propagation:
Seed – sow March in a warm greenhouse. This note probably refers to the tropical members of the genus, seeds of plants from cooler areas seem to require a period of cold stratification, some species taking 2 or more years to germinate. We sow the seed of temperate species in a cold frame as soon as we receive it, and would sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if we could obtain it then. When the seedlings eventually germinate, prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first year, though we normally grow them on in pots for 2 years. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in early spring as new growth begins. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer. Cuttings of half-ripe shoots, July in a frame

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Root – cooked. Rich in starch , it can be dried and ground into a powder to be used as a flavouring in soups etc or for making bread. The root can be up to 15cm thick. Young shoots – cooked. Used as an asparagus substitute.

Medicinal Uses:

Astringent;  Birthing aid;  Poultice;  Rubefacient;  Tonic.

The stem prickles have been rubbed on the skin as a counter-irritant to relieve localised 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 wilted leaves are applied as a poultice to boils. A tea made from the roots is used to help the expelling of afterbirth. Reports that the roots contain the hormone testosterone have not been confirmed, they might contain steroid precursors, however . The root bark is astringent and slightly tonic. An infusion of the root bark has been used as a wash in treating burns, sores and pox.

Chop and boil a small handful of roots in 3 cups of water to use as a pleasant tasting blood tonic and for fatigue, anemia, acidity, toxicity, rheumatism, and skin conditions.  Drink with milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg to strengthen and proliferate red blood cells.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fes.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FSmilax_laurifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Smilax+laurifolia
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Smilax lanceolata

Botanical Name : Smilax lanceolata
Family: Smilacaceae (greenbriers)
Synonyms: S. lanceolata, S. domingensis
Common Name: greenbrier,Red China Root

Habitat :Grows in southeastern U. S., mostly on the Coastal Plain.  Usually found in floodplain forests.

Description:
High-climbing woody vine. Stems green, round in cross-section, with few or no prickles, usually with many short side branches. Leaves thin, leathery, evergreen, ovate to lance-ovate, acute to acuminate, base rounded or cuneate, 2.5-5 cm (1-2 in) long. Inflorescence umbels in numerous leaf axils. Flowers numerous, small, greenish. Fruits black, 1-3 seeded, 5-7 mm (0.2-0.3 in) in diamete

 

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LEAVES: evergreen, lance-shaped, 2 to 5 inches long, 3/4 to 2 inches wide; deep green shiny upper surface, often variegated, green lower surface; 5 veins, rarely 7; young leaves may have minute blunt teeth along margins

FLOWER: April to July; jasmine-like odor

FRUIT: matures in second year, 1/4 inch, blackish-red berry, 2 seeds

FORM: dark-greenish or reddish brown, splotched with gray; few internode spines, never on fruiting canes, spines at nodes

Medicinal Uses:
Chop and boil a small handful of roots in 3 cups of water to use as a pleasant tasting blood tonic and for fatigue, anemia, acidity, toxicity, rheumatism, and skin conditions.  Drink with milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg to strengthen and proliferate red blood cells.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/shrub/smsm.htm
http://www.rnr.lsu.edu/plantid/webtour/species/lancegbr/lancegbr.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Carrion Flower

Botanical Name :Smilax herbacea
Family :Smilacaceae – Catbrier family
Genus :Smilax L. – greenbrier
Species: Smilax herbacea L. – smooth carrionflower
Kingdom :Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class :Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass: Liliidae
Order: Liliales

Common Name :Carrion Flower

Habitat :According to official records, Smooth Carrion Flower is rare in Illinois. However, in neighboring states this vine has been found in many counties and it is regarded as more common. It is possible that some records of Smilax lasioneura (Common Carrion Flower) in Illinois are based on misidentifications and it was Smooth Carrion Flower that was observed. These two species are very similar in appearance and easily confused. Habitats of Smooth Carrion Flower include savannas, thickets, prairies, rocky upland woodlands, woodland openings, woodland borders, and fence rows. Occasional wildfires appear to be beneficial in managing populations of this species.

Description:
This climbing non-woody vine is a native perennial up to 8′ long that branches occasionally. The light green to purple stems are terete, slightly speckled, glabrous, and often glaucous. Alternate leaves up to 3½” long and 2½” across occur at intervals along each stem; they are ovate-oval to broadly ovate-lanceolate in shape, smooth along their margins, and parallel-veined. The upper surfaces of the leaves are medium green and glabrous, while their lower surfaces are pale green and hairless. There are no hairs along the raised veins on the leaf undersides. The petioles of the leaves are up to 1¾” long, light green, and hairless. At the base of most petioles, there is a pair of tendrils that can cling to adjacent vegetation or objects for support. At the base of each stem on the vine, there is an appressed to slightly spreading sheath that is usually bladeless.
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Individual umbels of flowers are produced from the axils of the middle to upper leaves of each mature vine. Each umbel is connected to the stem by a long stout peduncle about 4-10″ long. The peduncles are 4-8 times longer than the petioles of adjacent leaves; they are similar in appearance to the stems. Individual umbels are about 1½–3″ across, consisting of 20-120 flowers on slender pedicels; when fully developed, they are globoid in shape. Like other species in this genus, Smooth Carrion Flower is dioecious; some vines produce only staminate (male) flowers, while other vines produce only pistillate (female) flowers. The green to yellowish green staminate flowers are individually about ¼” across, consisting of 6 lanceolate tepals and 6 stamens with white anthers. The green to yellowish green pistillate flowers are individually about ¼” across, consisting of 6 lanceolate tepals and a pistil with 3 flattened stigmata. The tepals of both kinds of flowers are often recurved. The blooming period occurs from late spring to early summer and lasts about 3 weeks. The flowers often have a carrion-like scent, but its presence and strength varies with the local ecotype. Staminate flowers wither away after blooming, while pistillate flowers are replaced by globoid fleshy berries. Individual berries are about ¼” across and contain about 3-5 seeds; they are dark blue and glaucous at maturity. At the end of the growing season, the entire vine dies down to the ground.

Cultivation: Smooth Carrion Flower prefers full or partial sun and more or less mesic conditions. It flourishes in different kinds of soil, including those that are rocky or loamy. In a shady situation, this vine may fail to produce flowers.

Medicinal Uses:
Eating the fruit is said to be effective in treating hoarseness.  The parched and powdered leaves havebeen used as a dressing on burns. The wilted leaves have been used as a dressing on boils. The root is analgesic. A decoction has been used in the treatment of back pains, stomach complaints, lung disorders and kidney problems.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

 

Resources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SMHE
http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/smilaxherb.html
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/savanna/plants/sm_carrion.htm

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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.

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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