This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Smilax Ps&udo-China L. Sp. PI. 1031. 1753.
Glabrous throughout, rootstock often bearing large tubers, stem terete, the branches angled. Lower part of the stem beset with straight needle-shaped prickles, the upper part and the branches mostly unarmed; petioles 3"-12" long; leaves firm, or becoming quite leathery when old, green on both sides or occasionally glaucous beneath, ovate, often narrowed at about the middle or lobed at base; acute or cuspidate at the apex, 7-9-nerved, 2 1/2-5' long, 1 1/2'-3 1/2" wide, often denticulate on the margins; peduncles flattened, 1'-3' long; umbels 12-40-flowered; pedicels 3,"~4" long; stamens 6-10; anthers as long as the filaments or longer; berries black, 8-16 in the umbels, 2"-3" in diameter, 1-3-seeded, maturing the first year.
Rootstocks bearing large tubers, stem terete or slightly angled, the branches often 4-angled. Prickles scattered or numerous, stout or needlelike, often wanting on the branches; petioles 3"-6" long, often prickly; leaves thick, ovate or commonly deltoid-hastate, sometimes narrowed at the middle, glabrous, green and usually shining on both sides, often spiny on the margins and on the veins beneath, acute or abruptly cuspidate at the apex, obtuse, truncate or cordate at the base, 5-9-nerved, 1 1/2'-4 1/2' long, 8"-V wide; peduncles slender, flattened, 7" - 15" long; umbels 15-45-flowered;.pedicels 2"-4" long; stigmas 1-3; berries 8-20 in the umbels, 2"-3 in diameter, mostly 1-seeded, ripening the first year.
In thickets. New Jersey( ?); Virginia to Kentucky, Kansas, Florida, Texas and Mexico. Fiddle-shaped greenbritr. April-July. Erroneously recorded from Massachusetts.
Smilax laurifolia L. Sp. PI. 1030. 1753.
Rootstocks bearing tubers sometimes 6' thick, stem stout, high-climbing, terete, striate, armed with strong straight prickles, the branches angled, mostly unarmed. Petioles stout, 3"-8" long; leaves leathery, evergreen, elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, acute or abruptly cuspidate at the apex, narrowed at the base, entire, 3-nerved, or sometimes with an additional pair of nerves near the margins, 2'-4 1/2 long, 1/2'-2' wide; peduncles stout, angled, 2"-10" long; umbels 6-30-flowered; pedicels 2"-3' long; anthers usually about one-third shorter than the filaments; stigma 1, sometimes 2; berries black, ovoid, 2"~3" thick, not ripening until the second year.
Smilax Walteri Pursh, Fl. Am. Sept. 249.- 1814.
Glabrous, stem angled, prickly below, the branches commonly unarmed. Petioles 2"-6" long, stout, angled; leaves ovate or ovate-lanceolate, rarely lobed at the base, cordate or subcordate, obtuse or abruptly acute at the apex, entire, 5-7-nerved, 2-5' long, io"-3i' wide; peduncles 2"-5" long, flattened, thickening in age; umbels 6-15-flowered; pedicels very slender, 2"-3," long; berries globose, coral-red (rarely white), 3-4" in diameter, 2-3-seeded, ripening the first year.
In wet soil, pine barrens of New Jersey to Florida, Tennessee and Louisiana. Sarsaparilla. April-June.
Smilax lanceolata L. Sp. PI. 1031. 1753.
Glabrous, stem terete, usually prickly, the branches slender, long, slightly angled, mostly unarmed. Petioles 1"-2" long; leaves rather thin, lanceolate, acute or acuminate at the apex, narrowed at the base, entire, shining above, 5-7-nerved, 2-3 1/2' long, 6"-2o" wide; peduncles thick, angled, 3"-8" long; umbels 8-40-flowered; pedicels 2"-7" long; filaments longer than the anthers; berries dark red, globose, 2"-3" in diameter, usually 2-seeded, ripening the first year.
In thickets, Virginia to Arkansas, Florida and Texas. March-Aug.