Greenbriar, Saw greenbriar

Smilax bona-nox L.

Liliaceae (Lily family)


Greenbriar is a tough, woody, high-climbing vine in the Lily family. It spreads aggressively from long, slender rhizomes, which are horizontal, usually underground stems that often send out roots and shoots from the nodes.

Along the stems are stout, flattened prickles. The numerous tendrils are used for climbing. The leaves have short petioles (stems) and are hairless and bright green on both sides, with rounded to heart-shaped bases.

The flowers are greenish to bronze, and the berries are green when young and blue-black at maturity, each with two or three seeds.

When greenbriar is young and succulent, its forage value is fair for goats and wildlife.


Greenbriar is found trailing over trees, shrubs and fences and in rolling woodlands in Central to East Texas.