SMILAX HERBACEA L.
var. PULVERULENTA (Michx.) Gray
SYNONYM: Smilax pulverulenta Michx.
HABIT: Herbaceous annual, usually high-climbing by
tendrils; flowering late April-early June; fruiting July, August.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Smilax herbacea var. pulverulenta
is similar to the typical variety and to var. lasioneura. The var. pulverulenta
has leaves green beneath; umbels hemispheric, and berries black, not glaucous.
The var. herbacea and var. lasioneura have leaves pale or
glaucous beneath; umbels crowded, becoming globose; and berries glaucous.
TOTAL RANGE: RI to s. NY, n. NJ, PA, OH, IN, IL, and
MN, s. to VA, n. GA, TN, AR, and MO.
STATE RANGE: There are post-1960 specimens only from
Highland and Wood counties. Pre-1960 occurrences are documented from Clark,
Hardin, Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Ottawa, and Union counties. Braun (1967)
reports it from Columbiana, Erie, Huron, and Lawrence counties.
STATE STATUS: 1980 to present: Endangered.
HABITAT: In moist to dry, usually calcareous soil of open
woods, thickets, and roadsides.
HAZARDS: Unknown, but possibly overgrowth by woody species
as a result of succession.
RECOVERY POTENTIAL: Unknown, but presumed good since it
appears able to colonize disturbed habitats.
INVENTORY GUIDELINES: This species can be identified in
vegetative condition, but mature flowering material is preferred.
COMMENTS: Smilax herbacea var. pulverulenta
may be more frequent in Ohio than current records indicate. It could easily be
misidentified. Mangaly (1968) states that most morphological characters of this
taxon are extremely variable in relation to ecological and climatic variations.
It should be sought in areas of the appropriate habitat throughout the state,
especially the western half.
Braun, E.L. 1967. The Monocotyledoneae of Ohio: Cat-tails to
orchids. The Ohio State Univ. Press, Columbus, OH. 464 p.
Mangaly, J.K. 1968. A cytotaxonomic study of the herbaceous
species of Smilax: section Coprosmanthus. Rhodora 70: 55-82, 247-273.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Created: l/1984 James F. Burns
Database Code: SPGT.J85