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Smilax rotundifolia (Roundleaf greenbriar)
Cressler, Alan

Smilax rotundifolia

Smilax rotundifolia L.

Roundleaf Greenbriar, Common Greenbriar

Smilacaceae (Catbrier Family)

Synonym(s): Smilax rotundifolia var. crenulata, Smilax rotundifolia var. quadrangularis

USDA Symbol: smro

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

Ranges through much of eastern North America, from eastern Texas and eastern Oklahoma, east to northern Florida, and north as far as southernmost Ontario and Nova Scotia in Canada, where its limited range qualifies it for threatened status under Canada's Species at Risk Act (SARA). Numerous birds and animals eat Common greenbrier fruits. The persistent fruits are an important late winter and early spring food for wintering birds, including northern cardinals and white-throated sparrows. Common greenbrier is a pioneer species that forms impenetrable thickets of prickly branches, which create good cover for small mammals and birds (USDA).


From the Image Gallery

12 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub , Vine
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Dioecious
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Stems climbing, up to about 20 feet long.
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , WV
Canada: NS , ON
Native Habitat: Forest,Woodland

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low


Warning: Thorns or prickles.
Attracts: Birds

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:

Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX

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

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1994 VOL. 11, NO.6 - Wildflower Center Featured Non-Profit in Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, Dana Leav...

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-01-18
Research By: TWC Staff

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