Green-brier Smilax spp.
Family: Lilliaceae (Lilly)
Branching: Alternate

This group of woody vines has green stems, and may or may not have thorns.  Because of their colour, they stand out in the winter.  They climb with the use of tendrils.  Pictured here are two species: Bristly Green-brier (S. hispida) in the top 5 pictures and Roundleaf or Common Green-brier (S. rotundifolia), which is rare in Ontario, in the bottom 2 pictures.

The winter twig of a Green-brier

Closeup of a lateral bud

Winter twig and tendrils

Green-brier fruits are "berries", sometimes still found in the winter

Bristly Green-brier has weak thorns mainly at the base of the plant, and is almost smooth near the top.

Roundleaf Green-brier has much stouter thorns, and can resemble Multiflora Rose at times.

Unlike Bristly Green-brier, Roundleaf has thick sharp thorns almost all the way to the tips of the vine.

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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