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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Smilacaceae | Smilax

4. Smilax californica (A. de Candolle) A. Gray in S. Watson, Bot. California. 2: 186. 1880.

Smilax rotundifolia Linnaeus var. californica A. de Candolle in A. L. P. P. de Candolle and C. de Candolle, Monogr. Phan. 1: 75. 1878

Shrubs or vines; rhizomes short, knotty. Stems perennial, climbing or not, to 12 m, woody, glabrous; prickles sometimes absent distally, bristlelike, 3–11 mm, flexible. Leaves evergreen, ± evenly dispersed; petiole 0.5–2 cm; blade dull green, drying to dull, ashy green, ovate to broadly ovate, conspicuously veined, 4–11 × 3–8 cm, not glaucous, glabrous, base cordate to subcordate; margins entire, thin, flat, not banded, never lobed; apex acute, often apiculate. Umbels axillary to distal leaves, (2–)8–13(–19)-flowered; peduncle 2–5 cm, longer than petiole of subtending leaf. Flowers: perianth green; tepals 3–6 mm; ovule 1 per locule; pedicel thin, 1–1.5 cm. Berries black, ovoid, 7–9 mm.

Flowering May--Jun. Yellow pine and mixed evergreen forests, often in thickets along rivers, streams, and springs; partial--full sun; 250--1200 m; Calif., Oreg.

Smilax californica is apparently closely related to the more eastern S. tamnoides. It lacks the minute serrulations characteristic of the latter’s leaves.


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