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Smilax smallii (Lance-leaf greenbriar)
Stuart, Will

Smilax smallii

Smilax smallii Morong

Lance-leaf Greenbriar, Southern Smilax, Jacksonvine, Jacksonbriar

Smilacaceae (Catbrier Family)

Synonym(s): Smilax domingensis, Smilax lanceolata


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), PR (N)

Lance-leaf Greenbriar is a high-climbing vine, to about 8 ft. long, with small, light-green, shiny, evergreen leaves. Flat-topped clusters of small, yellowish flowers occur in all leaf axils to the ends of the branches. The subsequent berries remain a dull, brick-red for long periods of time before turning dark reddish-brown at maturity. Stems are mostly spineless and often at right angles to the main stem.


From the Image Gallery

5 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
Root Type: Tuberous
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Apex: Acute
Leaf Base: Cuneate , Rounded
Leaf Texture: Smooth
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Dioecious
Inflorescence: Axillary , Umbel
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Climber, stems up to about 8 feet. long.
Leaf: Green.
Flower: Flower tiny.
Fruit: Dark red to black 6 mm.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: AL , AR , DE , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , OK , SC , TX , VA
Native Distribution: Coastal Plain from extreme s.e. VA to FL, w. to e. TX, Zones 7 to 9
Native Habitat: Sandy, alluvial woods; coastal plains; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Drought Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, alluvial, acidic soils.


Use Ornamental: A glossy, evergreen vine that can be trained to trellises. Unlike many Smilaxes, it is thornless.
Use Wildlife: Fruits eaten by multiple birds and mammals.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: No


Propagation Material: Root Division , Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings , Softwood Cuttings
Seed Collection: Mature seeds are brown. Two years are required for seeds to mature.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Cut back to keep it from forming a dense thicket. Will form large, woody canes, so cut back to ground every three years in the spring if you don't like this.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1075 Collected 2007-08-17 in Harrison County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Smilax smallii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Smilax smallii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Smilax smallii


Record Modified: 2022-10-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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