(Smilax rotundifolia), also known as Common
Greenbrier, is a common woody vine native to the Eastern United
The leaves are glossy green, petioled,
alternate, and circular to heart-shaped. They are generally
5-13 cm long. Common greenbriar climbs other plants using
green tendrils growing out of the petioles
The stems are round, green and have sharp spines. The flowers are
greenish, and are seen from April to August, the fruit they produce
are bluish black berries that become ripe in September .
Cultivation and uses
Common greenbriar grows in roadsides, landscapes, clearings and
. 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 .
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 .
- 1) Richard H. Uva, Joseph C. Neal and Joseph M. Ditomaso,
Weeds of The Northeast, (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University
Press, 1997), Pp. 338-339.
- 2) Lee Allen Peterson, Edible Wild Plants, (New York
City: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977), P. 198.