A Bristly Native Vine
Bristly Greenbrier is one of several Smilax species in the upper midwest. It's considered a woody vine, although it doesn't seem to develop an aged or woody looking stem. The stem is covered in different sized prickles that are very sharp.
Growing to almost 10 feet high, it tends to grow upwards and arch over other plants. The prickles (along with the tendrils) help it to catch on plants or stems to climb upwards.
The leaves are a medium green, heart shaped with parallel veins. Flowers clusters emerge from the leaf axil and open in late May to early June. They are smaller and looser clusters than some of the other Smilax species. The blue-black fruit form in fall hanging downwards from the vine.
© Heather Holm, 2015. Heather Holm