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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - May 06, 2013

From: Pensacola, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Lists, Vines
Title: What thorny vine grows rapidly in Pensacola?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

What thorny vine grows rapidly in Pensacola?

ANSWER:

Cat briar Smilax bona-nox (Saw greenbrier) comes to mind, but technically, its a prickly vine. To look for others, lets go to our Native Plants Database and do a Combination Search. Select Florida under State, vine under General Appearance, and perennial under Lifespan. Check both part shade and shade under Light Requirement, and both dry and moist under Soil Moisture. Click the Submit Combination Search button, and you will get a list of 27 native plants that meet these criteria. Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains a description of the plant along with growth characteristics and requirements, and in most cases images. We find that only the two species of Smilax mention spines.

This link to floridanature.com/vines  gives us a list of vines found in Florida . We see another species of Smilax  plus a species of Mimosa, but it doesn’t occur in Pensacola. So it looks like we have three possibilities, however we were only looking at native plants.

Smilax auriculata

Smilax bona-nox

Smilax pumila

I hope this is helpful.

 

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