smilax-- lost my mind and want to grow it...

merrybookwyrmSeptember 28, 2011

I was in Cedar Hill by defunct Petal Pushers, looking at what has survived the horrible, no good, very bad summer all unwatered. I recognized a few antique roses, juniper, redbud, lantana, turks cap, maybe horse herb, maybe native plums, the seed heads of something daisy-like, baby pecan trees, and some beautiful green vines with red berries.

If those green vines weren't smilax aka greenbrier, I will be very surprised. They were very pretty, even gorgeous with the red berries.

Has anyone ever trained one of these monsters up a trellis? Or grown one on purpose?

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annnorthtexas(8)

I haven't grown any on purpose, but if you want some, I have plenty that needs digging out. It's running every where in the back of my yard. It loves to run up the rose bushes so I pull it out to keep it from strangling them.

I don't have a pretty kind though. It doesn't have very many leaves.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 7:18PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I let it grow up a trellis and around an old wooden bird house that's mounted there. I think it has very pretty leaves and the red berries right now are a big plus. Now that the berries are in season I notice the vine on fences around the neighborhood and in the woods. I don't find a problem with it at all. So I'd say go ahead and grow it :-)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 7:21PM
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plantmaven(8b/9a TX)

You probably saw Carolina Moonseed vine. It does grow in TX.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 8:00PM
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merrybookwyrm

Thank you roselee and plantmaven. The pretty vine seems to be the poisonous cocculus carolinus instead of edible smilax greenbriar. At least the pretty carolina moonseed seems to be better behaved than the wild smilax greenbriar!

I'll check the pretty vine and its seeds against the carolina moonseed information and against the greenbriar information again.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:30PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Cocculus carolinus is what I have too. The mention of red berries confused me -- must be my age ;-) One hundred sixty four is getting up there!

Anyway, here it's an easy to grow graceful mannerly vine.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 11:00AM
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texasflip(Nacogdoches, TX z8)

I don't think it's crazy to want Smilax, certain species are really nice looking. I especially like S. smallii and S. glauca. I know at least S. smallii is virtually thornless on the upper branches.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 2:35PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

This vine is in my house's easement behind the back fence growing up the hackberries. I like the red berries too. The kind here doesn't have thorns. I think they are festive but I wouldn't let them lose in any kind of "real" flower bed. As aggressive as my plants tend to be they'd be smothered by this stuff.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 12:03AM
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beachplant(9b)

Cocculus carolinus totally HATE this vine, redberries or not, food for wildlife or not it is by far the worst weed in my yard. 20 years later & I've not made a dent in it, nothing kills this crap.
TallyHO!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 2:42PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Your no freeze weather doesn't knock them back Ms. Tally. The price for being able to grow Jacarandas. Not that I'm jealous or anything :).

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 2:59PM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

Re: smilax - did you know that you can buy it for greenery to cover arches, columns, etc., at special events? I think I'm missing an opportunity here.

Here is a link that might be useful: East Texas Smilax

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 8:26AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I had no idea, Lin, I am a millionaire overnight...thanks!!!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 9:24AM
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linda_tx8(8)

We all have our foibles! So if you want to grow the vine, DO it! You should see some of the things I grow...including Cocculus carolinus. Now, Smilax species...that pops up just fine without anyone growing it on purpose.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2011 at 8:45PM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

The folks I bought my house from apparently dumped the cat litter out back on the hill, just above my new rose garden. I was digging in the aged litter to see if anything would grow there, and I found the HUGEST bulbs from smilax that I had ever seen. Too bad I didn't think to keep them to propagate more of this money-making plant.

(that's my size-8 shoe for size comparisons)

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 8:50AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Wow, Lin, guess I would not have been "pulling" that one out with my hands. That one alone should net you a pretty penny.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 1:45PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Wow! That is huge. Do the berries stay on the plant, or better yet, stay red if it's cut? They'd look great in a Christmas wreath. Ninety bucks for a plant that volunteers aggresively everywhere. Those folks are smarter n me!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 10:26AM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

PJ, I try to get mine out before they form berries - I don't want them spread! And I think it's $90 for a bale of the vine, not for a plant.

The greenery WOULD look nice in a wreath, though ...

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 6:54PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

The vines are really flexible too. Spreading berries are a concern by the front door. Fake berries may have to do here. This will be a first time project but there's nothing to lose but a bit of time.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 9:44AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I wonder if the company that sells the bales of greenery is actually selling thorny smilax or Cocculus carolinus?

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 11:14AM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

The vines here are the thornless Cocculus carolinus. The actual smilax is too thorny to work with! I just go with the lazy common name.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 7:51PM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

Roselee, the place in east Texas looks to sell real smilax - if you let the photos cycle through there's a close-up and it looks like the thorny stuff on my property.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 1:04PM
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