This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Characters of the order. The name is of classic origin, and was applied to the South European species. None of them are very ornamental, but several species are valued for their medicinal properties. The various kinds of Sarsaparilla are produced by this genus.
S. Mauritanica, from the same region, has larger unarmed leaves.
Tamus communis. Black Bryony, is an indigenous climber producing annual stems from a large tuberous rootstock, cordate-ovate glossy ribbed leaves, and inconspicuous unisexual flowers followed by clusters of oblong scarlet berries. It belongs to the Dioscbreoi, distinguished from the above family by having an inferior several-seeded fruit, etc.