Identifying Smilax sprouts

Both Lanceleaf and Laurel-leaf Greenbrier produce thick, asparagus-like “reacher” sprouts in springtime that can grow two meters or more without producing leaves. I was interested in ways to distinguish the two species at this stage. I visited six known patches of each species and inspected the “reachers” The results at least in Jackson County Mississippi were pretty clear.

Lanceleaf (Smilax smallii) sprouts all had brown mottling or streaking.

By contrast, Laurel-leaf (Smilax laurifolia) sprouts all lacked the brown streaking and were plain green.

Sample observations

Smilax smallii:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41952116
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41900217
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41547665

Smilax laurifolia:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41938157
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41547669

Posted on April 10, 2021 05:35 PM by janetwright janetwright

Comments

Good information...thanks for sharing!!!

Posted by dcarrie over 3 years ago

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