Aug. 2, 2022

bristly greenbriar, Smilax hispida

This poll is anything but scientific. But in a small sample of literature, it seems that this is Smilax hispida in blue states, and Smilax tamnoides in red. And if ever there was a stubborn taxonomic conundrum, this is it. Attitudes are also filled with fear and a yearning for the old days. This is a fearsome plant, as bristly in its lower stems as anything we've got. But in the good old days this plant was a source of briar pipes, or the roots were powdered and used like flour. There was even a recipe that produced gelatin. Bristly greenbriar grows in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, and ON. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 6/18/11. Brier family, Smilacaceae.