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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Leaves and young shoots - raw or cooked and used like asparagus[1][2][3]. A delicate and palatable vegetable[4].

Fruit - raw or cooked and used in jellies etc[1][4]. It should only be used when fully ripe[4]. A pleasant flavour[5][6]. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter[7].

Root - cooked[6]. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then used with cereals for making bread etc[8][2]. It can also be used as a gelatine substitute[8][2].

Fruit

Unknown part

Leaves

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Smilax herbacea.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Eating the fruit is said to be effective in treating hoarseness[5][6].

The parched and powdered leaves have been used as a dressing on burns[6]. The wilted leaves have been used as a dressing on boils[6].

The root is analgesic[6]. A decoction has been used in the treatment of back pains, stomach complaints, lung disorders and kidney problems[6].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Climber

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow March in a warm greenhouse[9]. This note probably refers to the tropical members of the genus, seeds of plants from cooler areas seem to require a period of cold stratification, some species taking 2 or more years to germinate[K]. We sow the seed of temperate species in a cold frame as soon as we receive it, and would sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if we could obtain it then[K]. When the seedlings eventually germinate, prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first year, though we normally grow them on in pots for 2 years. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.

Division in early spring as new growth begins[10]. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Cuttings of half-ripe shoots, July in a frame[10].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Smilax herbacea. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Succeeds in most soils in sun or semi-shade[7].

Hardy to about -20°c[7]. A polymorphic species[11]. The flowers are malodorous[7], they smell like dead rats[5]. A vigorous plant, it can be grown through trees or shrubs or over tree stumps[7]. The sub-species S. herbacea nipponicum is used in Japan[12]. This report probably refers to the species S. nipponica[K].

Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Smilax herbacea. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Smilax herbacea.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Smilax herbacea
Genus
Smilax
Family
Smilacaceae
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
4
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    x meters
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.2 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.3 Kavasch. B. Native Harvests. Vintage Books ISBN 0-394-72811-4 (1979-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (1977-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.4 Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2624-6 (1993-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.66.76.8 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.6 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.2 Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
    9. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)
    12. ? Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)