Smilax hispida

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This native woody vine climbs over shrubs and young trees; it attaches with tendrils. The leaves are alternate on the vine, oval, pointed and variable in size up to 9 inches long on vigorous vines (A). Male and female flowers are found on separate plants. Both are yellowish green and form spherical clusters (B). The larger vines are armed with dense, black, dagger-like prickles of various sizes (C). The berry-like fruit is found in tight clusters, first green, later turning to black (D,E). The green leaves and fruit may be seen on the vine during late fall and early into winter.

Grows in thickets and woodlands, flowering in April and May. In Fontenelle Forest, common, for instance along Stream Trail. At Neale Woods, common along MRE Trail.

Avoid getting in contact with this vine; it’s prickles can cause serious damage to skin.

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