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Smilax glauca - Walter.                
                 
Common Name Cat Greenbrier
Family Smilacaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry to moist sandy thickets, open woods and fields[43]. Dry to wet woods, thickets, hedge- rows, roadsides from sea level to 800 metres[270].
Range South-eastern N. America - New England to Florida, west to Texas and Indiana.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of climber
Smilax glauca is an evergreen Climber growing to 5 m (16ft 5in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in June. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.


USDA hardiness zone : 4-8


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Smilax glauca Cat Greenbrier


Smilax glauca Cat Greenbrier
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 1
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Root - cooked[161, 257]. It can be boiled and made into a jelly or dried and ground into a powder then used with cereals when making bread etc[61, 105, 159]. Young shoots in spring - raw or cooked[159].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Birthing aid;  Poultice;  Rubefacient.

The stem prickles have been rubbed on the skin as a counter-irritant to relieve localised pains, muscle cramps and twitching[222]. A tea made from the leaves and stems has been used in the treatment of rheumatism and stomach problems[222]. The wilted leaves are applied as a poultice to boils[222, 257]. A tea made from the roots is used to help the expelling of afterbirth[222]. Reports that the roots contain the hormone testosterone have not been confirmed, they might contain steroid precursors, however[222].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Succeeds in most soils in sun or semi-shade[200]. Hardy to at least -20°c[200]. A vigorous plant, it can be grown through trees or shrubs or over tree stumps[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow March in a warm greenhouse[1]. 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[238]. 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[238].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Walter.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
11200270
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[43]Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany.
A bit dated but good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[159]McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana.
A nice pocket guide to this region of America.
[161]Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[222]Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
[270] Flora of N. America
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Smilax glauca  
             

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