Need Help Identifying a Mystery Vine

kajaMay 18, 2010

Good day everyone.

I noticed a vine growing in the space that is adjacent to both my and my neighbor's driveway. I don't really know what it is, but it's wrapping itself around everything. It's quite pretty but I'm always uneasy when it comes to vines.

Here is a photo. Would y'all be so kind as to help me identify this plant?

http://picasaweb.google.com/100333308934400577480/MysteryPlants?authkey=Gv1sRgCN6h1MbjyqX7vAE#5472736275823223298

Thank you everyone!

Here is a link that might be useful: Mystery Vine

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nwgatreasures(7)

I don't know the exact name of that vine but what I do know (for certain) is that you better get rid of that as quick as you can!!!

heads up! It has a root system like the gossip grapevine and just when you think you've got it, some sprouts up in another place.

This vine brings a new meaning to the word invasive.
Good Luck,
Dora

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 6:33PM
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esh_ga

It's a type of Smilax, perhaps Smilax rotundifolia.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 6:36PM
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nwgatreasures(7)

LMBO
When I read that name....I thought about a laxative...or that you can smile once it is gone........can you tell I do NOT like this vine? LOL

Dora

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 6:55PM
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kaja

Could it be Smilax Briar? I've looked at numerous photos of Smilax Rotundifolia but the leaves don't look quite the same as the one in my yard. I've done a search for "Smilax Briar" (in quotes) and I am getting very few photos.

But I did see a small photo of Smilax Briar on Walter Reaves web site and this looks more like what I've got. The leaves are a bit wavey around the edges and the color and shape of the leaves are very similar.

I'm still looking this up, but I have to agree. It needs to go. I've heard horror stories about Smilax...

KJ

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 7:15PM
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esh_ga

There are many different species of Smilax. Frankly, when I'm planning to dig it up/get rid of it, I don't really care WHICH species it is! ;) I was just guessing - and the leaf shape can be quite variable.

There are only two thornless smilax that I know of: Smilax smallii (Jackson vine), and Smilax herbacea. There may be others, but most of them are thorny, tenacious beasts!

And yes, they are native.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here they all are

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 8:29PM
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kaja

Thanks Esh.

You make a great point!! Talk about not seeing the forest through the Smilax... ;)

This was my first time trying to identify a plant via it's general type or it's leaves. It was a much harder task than anticipated.

Thanks Esh. It's a goner come Saturday.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 9:22PM
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frankielynnsie

We call that 'saw briar' in the country and you don't want it. It is resistant to dieing even when sprayed repetitively with weed killer.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 10:10PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I tried to identify that for years. I thought it was called cat briar or green briar. Just keep pulling it up.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 8:01AM
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gmom74

We call it 'saw briar'. It will saw your arm right off if you're not careful around it.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 8:58AM
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esh_ga

Well now you all know that the scientific/botanical name is Smilax and you can impress your friends and neighbors!

I have at least 3 different kinds in my yard (lucky me) and all of them are thorny. Some have teeny tiny thorns and one of them has great BIG thorns.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 9:30AM
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kaja

Thanks everyone for your help. I'm happy to say... KJ - 1, Smilax - zero.

I'll tell ya though. Getting that stuff out by the roots was a chore! And I only had two small places where this was growing. I've read about how the roots are on Smilax, but it wasn't until I had to dig a few out that I really understood the pictures.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 2:11PM
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nwgatreasures(7)

KJ,
a suggestion (based on years of experience with that horrible vine) it takes a LONG time for you to get rid of it. Just when you think you've gotten all those root bulbs out, they come back.
Keep watching the soil there and pulling them up.
Dora

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 6:44AM
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kaja

Good advice Dora. I will definitely keep my eye on it. After I read up on this plant after receiving advice here, I realized that getting all of the plant's extensive roots out of the ground is a bit tricky.

I guess it would have been more appropriate for me to have said, round one: KJ - 1, Smilax - 0.

:)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 3:35PM
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nwgatreasures(7)

I remember my first dealings w/ this vine was back when I was a teenager :) That was a *few decades ago.

We had this vine in the middle of a bed of azaleas and every freaking month, that vine would come back on its root system. It literally took us about 8 months of 2 or 3 times a month digging to get to the root system. It's not enough to "pull the vine"...what has to happen is the root system to that vine (everywhere it comes out of the ground) has to be gotten up with out being disturbed and broken apart.

When I saw your original picture, it was like the summer of the late 70's early 80's. That vine was my nightmare.

I pray it will be better for you. If you've caught it early that will probabaly work to your advantage.

Dora

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 8:39PM
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esh_ga

I just dug one up today. Here is the tuber (not the biggest one I've seen either). That is a cap to a water bottle for scale.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 3:11PM
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nwgatreasures(7)

Yep!
When my dad would dig them up, he'd call them "Satan's toe nails"

Keep going through every bit of soil within 10 feet looking for those things.... and get 'em OUT!

Dora

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 6:55PM
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farmerpickle(8)

I was just out these pulling this vine now I know what it is. Going to try some round up and see if I can get ride of it for good!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 12:42PM
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nwgatreasures(7)

farmerpickle,
Just a heads up....
Round Up does *nothing* for this root system/vine.

Dora

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 6:35PM
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