Smilax Family

John Conran.

Perennial climbers. Leaves alternate, entire, longitudinal veins convergent and with prominent reticulate venation, often with prickles; stalks with stipules that end in tendrils. Flower clusters axillary, stalked, cymose or paniculate. Flowers unisexual with the sexes on separate plants. Floral segments 6 in 2 whorls. Stamens mostly 6, free or united to form a column. Ovary superior with 3 chambers and mostly 1 ovule per chamber. Fruit a berry containing 1- several seeds.

The genera Eustrephus and Geitonoplesium once included in this family are now placed in Philesiaceae.

3 genera with about 320 species from tropical and temperate regions.Australia has 1 genus with 7 species.

Often prickly, tendril vines having leaves with convergent parallel veins and prominent netted veins.

Source: Conran, J. (2005). Smilacaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Liliales
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
genus        Smilax L.