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Genus Smilax Family Smilacaceae

Description: Vines with climbing or straggling stems, stems prickly or smooth.

Leaves alternate, lamina with 3–7 longitudinal veins; petiole ± short, tendrils at first usually ± straight and then coiling and often breaking off on older stems.

Inflorescence axillary, pedunculate, umbellate. Tepals greenish white, ± equal. Stamens 6; filaments free; anthers dehiscing by longitudinal slits.

Fruit a berry; seeds 1 to few.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 300 spp., trop. to temp. regions. Aust.: 7 spp. (3 spp. endemic), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., N.T., W.A.

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Stems prickly; leaves with 5 longitudinal veins, lower surface not glaucous; tepals 3–4 mm longSmilax australis
Stems not prickly; leaves with 3 longitudinal veins, lower surface glaucous; tepals 1–2 mm longSmilax glyciphylla

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