Florida is home to 12 different species of greenbrier vines, vines in the genus Smilax. Only 3 species occur in the Indian River County, and all 3 of these species grow at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area. Common names for these vines abound and include catbriar, bullbrier, tramp’s revenge, sawbriar, and Chinabrier.

Saw greenbrier (Smilax bona-nox) is the easy species to identify, usually, due to its speckles: Grey or pale green blotches on its leaves. Greenbrier leaves are notoriously variable. The leaves of saw greenbrier can be 3-lobed, obvate, or fiddle-shaped, and the leaf margins (edges) often are toothed.

Sharp prickles (growths from the epidermis) armor the nodes and internodes …

New growth is sometimes translucent and soft, hardening and darkening with maturity..

Saw greenbrier grows in woodland ecosystems throughout the southeastern U.S., often climbing over other vegetation by means of long tendrils.

Saw greenbrier flowers throughout the year. Fruiting usually occurs in the fall, and its single-seeded berries are blue-black when ripe. Though they are edible, they have very little pulp.

Saw greenbrier usually, but not always, has some speckles on its leaves.

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