​​​​​​​Greenbrier (Smilax rotundifolia). Photo: Betty Marose

Updated: February 27, 2023

Life cycle

Woody vine. This is a native vine.

Growth habit

Can form impenetrable thickets, climbs by tendrils attached to the petiole; stems bright green with sharp prickles; leaves are alternate, rounded to heart-shaped, shiny bright green with smooth margins and parallel veins


Plants spread slowly by vegetative growth and by seeds; greenish flowers precede bluish black berries

Conditions that favor growth

Commonly found along roadsides, open woods, and edges of moist swampy areas

Cultural control

Manual removal of branches down to ground and keep cut to maintain growth

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