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ASmilax Flower

ASmilax Flower

ASmilax Flower

They are climbing flowering plants, many of which are woody and/or thorny, in the monocotyledon family Smilacaceae, native throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Common names include catbriers, greenbriers, prickly-ivys and smilaxes. Sarsaparilla (also zarzaparrilla, sarsparilla) is a name used specifically for the Jamaican S. ornata as well as a catch-all term in particular for American species. Occasionally, the non-woody species such as the smooth herbaceous greenbrier (S. herbacea) are separated as genus Nemexia; they are commonly known by the rather ambiguous name carrion flowers.

Smilax

The roots may also be used in soups or stews. The young shoots can be eaten raw or cooked and are said to taste like asparagus, and the berries can be eaten both raw and cooked. Stuffed smilax pancake, or fúlíng jiābǐng (simplified Chinese: 茯苓夹饼; traditional Chinese: 茯苓夾餅), is a traditional snack from the Beijing region. S. glabra is used in Chinese herbology. It is also a key ingredient in the Chinese medical dessert guÄ«línggāo, which makes use of its property to set certain kinds of jelly.Smilax is a very damage-tolerant plant capable of growing back from its rhizomes after being cut down or burned down by fire. This, coupled with the fact that birds and other small animals spread the seeds over large areas, makes the plants very hard to get rid of. It grows best in moist woodlands with a soil pH between 5 and 6. The seeds have the greatest chance of germinating after being exposed to a freeze.

Carrion Flower is fragrant. However, the fragrance has been described as 'rotten meat' or 'dead rats'. It is typically found in moist forests, thickets, and wooded banks. It tolerates a wide range of soil types but prefers moist soil. The Smooth Carrion Flower is distinguished from other species of Smilax because it is not thorny and it lacks hairs on the underside of the leaf. It also has a very long stem that holds the berry bunch on the vine. The plants of Smilax are dioecious - the male and female flowers are on separate plants and are therefore not self-fertile. Upright Carrion Flower is the shortest of the 4 Minnesota Smilax species, usually about 2 feet tall. It is further distinguished from the others by having only 1 to 3 flower clusters usually all arranged below the leaves, fewer than 25 flowers per cluster, unbranched stems with fewer than 20 leaves, leaf stalks shorter than the associated blades, and lacking any tendrils. The leaf shape is more similar to Blue Ridge Carrion Flower (Smilax lasioneura) than to Illinois Carrion Flower (Smilax illinoensis) and these three can be quite difficult to distinguish when young but when more mature and flower clusters start emerging the differences are more apparent: both S. lasioneura and S. illinoensis usually have more than 20 leaves, more than 3 flower clusters, and more than 25 flowers per cluster (though this last trait is quite variable); S. lasioneura is also a climbing vine to 8 feet long with branched stems and numerous tendrils; S. illinoensis has up to 10 flower clusters, usually has at least a few tendrils on the upper stem, and leaf stalks are often longer than the associated blades. The fourth species, Bristly Greenbrier (S. tamnoides or S. hispida) is the only Smilax species in Minnesota with a prickly stem. (Source: www.minnesotawildflowers.info)

 

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