Click on image for full screen view.

China-root, Hellfetter, Bristly Greenbriar
Smilax tamnoides (S. hispida)


China-root smilax prefers the damp woods and low areas near the streams of East Texas and ranges into Florida and north to Connecticut, Nebraska and Missouri. Underground it develops short, knotty rhizomes, while the vine above clambers over bushes and high into trees using tendrils at the nodes. The lower part of the stem is thickly covered with wicked needle-like spines. The lustrous leaves are highly variable in shape. This dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants) vine is useful for revegetation and as wildlife cover and food.

Plant Habit or Use: vine

Exposure: partial sun

Flower Color: green, greenish bronze

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: blue - black berry

Height: 25 feet


Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: acid

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4

Additional Comments:

| Index of Scientific Names | Index of Common Names | Photo Gallery Index |