ORGANISM DETAILS


Common Name
smilax/sarsaparilla vine

Scientific Name
Smilax bracteata

Identification Notes

This species is a conspicuous climbing vine that can be seen from ground level up to the canopy of the trees it climbs. Green stems are covered by stiff brown sharp spines and have coiled tendrils that help them to attach to other plants for support. The oval or heart-shaped leaves arise alternately and have prominent veins that meet at the base and apex of the blade. Flowers and fruits arise in sphere-shaped clusters (umbel) where individual flowers/fruits arise from a singe point on a stalk.

Miscellaneous Notes
When conditions are favorable, Smilax can grow up to the canopy towards sunlight. However, its dense growth can often overshadow its support tree, depriving it of light. Some efforts to control its growth have been undertaken in some of Singapore’s parks.

References
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Links
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Summary
Smilax/sarsaparilla vine (Smilax bracteata). This species is a conspicuous climbing vine that can be seen from ground level up to the canopy of the trees it climbs. Green stems are covered by stiff brown sharp spines and have coiled tendrils that help them to attach to other plants for support. The oval or heart-shaped leaves arise alternately and have prominent veins that meet at the base and apex of the blade. Flowers and fruits arise in sphere-shaped clusters (umbel) where individual flowers/fruits arise from a singe point on a stalk.When conditions are favorable, Smilax can grow up to the canopy towards sunlight. However, its dense growth can often overshadow its support tree, depriving it of light. Some efforts to control its growth have been undertaken in some of Singapore’s parks.



leaves of Smilax

tendrils

tendrils

smilax covering a tree