Smilax herbacea


Sp. Pl. 2: 1030. 1753.

Common names: Carrion-flower Jacob’s-ladder smilax herbacé
Synonyms: Coprosmanthus herbaceus (Linnaeus) Kunth Coprosmanthus peduncularis (Muhlenberg ex Willdenow) Kunth Nemexia cerulea Rafinesque Nemexia herbacea (Linnaeus) Small Nemexia nigra Rafinesque Smilax herbacea subsp. crispifolia Pennell Smilax herbacea var. peduncularis (Muhlenberg ex Willdenow) A. de Candolle Smilax herbacea var. simsii A. de Candolle Smilax peduncularis
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 473. Mentioned on page 467, 471.

Vines. Stems annual, climbing, branching, to 2.5 m, herbaceous, glabrous; prickles absent. Leaves: petiole thin, 1–6 cm; tendrils numerous, long, functional; blade oblong-ovate, ovate, or round, 4.5–12 × 3–9 cm, glabrous abaxially, base cordate to truncate, margins entire, apex obtuse to acute; proximal cauline leaves narrower and smaller. Umbels many, axillary to leaves, 20–100+-flowered, globose; peduncle to 30 cm, progressively shorter distally. Flowers: perianth greenish, carrion-scented; tepals 3.5–4.5 mm; anthers much shorter than filaments; ovules (1–)2 per locule; pedicel 0.5–2 cm. Berries blue, subglobose, ca. 10 mm diam., glaucous. 2n = 26.

Phenology: Flowering May–Jun.
Habitat: Higher elevations in rich woods, alluvial thickets, and meadows, often in calcareous soils
Elevation: 100–800 m


V26 987-distribution-map.jpg

N.B., Ont., Que., Ala., Ga., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., N.H., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va.


The leaves and habit of Smilax herbacea are quite variable.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Smilax herbacea"
Walter C. Holmes +
Linnaeus +
Carrion-flower +, Jacob’s-ladder +  and smilax herbacé +
N.B. +, Ont. +, Que. +, Ala. +, Ga. +, Ky. +, Maine +, Md. +, Mass. +, N.H. +, N.Y. +, N.C. +, Ohio +, Pa. +, S.C. +, Tenn. +, Vt. +, Va. +  and W.Va. +
100–800 m +
Higher elevations in rich woods, alluvial thickets, and meadows, often in calcareous soils +
Flowering May–Jun. +
Coprosmanthus herbaceus +, Coprosmanthus peduncularis +, Nemexia cerulea +, Nemexia herbacea +, Nemexia nigra +, Smilax herbacea subsp. crispifolia +, Smilax herbacea var. peduncularis +, Smilax herbacea var. simsii +  and Smilax peduncularis +
Smilax herbacea +
species +