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NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Smilax bona-nox

Catbriar/Catbrier, Tramp's Troubles, Sawbriar/Sawbrier, Chinabriar/Chinabrier, Bullbriar/Bullbrier

Scientific Name:

Smilax bona-nox

Genus:

Smilax

Species Epithet:

bona-nox

Common Name:

Catbriar/Catbrier, Tramp's Troubles, Sawbriar/Sawbrier, Chinabriar/Chinabrier, Bullbriar/Bullbrier

Plant Type

Woody Vine

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Smilacaceae (Greenbriar Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Invasive Status:

(*Key)

Size:

1-3 ft., 3-6 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

Yellow, Green

Light:

Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry, Moist

Bloom Time:

April, May

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

var. bona-nox: In a wide variety of wetland and upland habitats. Common throughout most of NC.
var. littoralis: Dunes, maritime thickets, maritime forests. Uncommon in NC Coastal Plain.

Leaf Arrangement:

Alternate

Leaf Retention:

Semi-evergreen

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Important for Wildlife

Landscape Value:

Not Recommended for home landscapes

State Rank:

S5: Secure (*Key)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*Key)

Notes:

Weakley list 2 varieties in NC: Smilax bona-nox var. bona-nox and Smilax bona-nox var. littoralis (Maritime Catbriar).
This is the only Smilax species that has prickles on the leaf margins.

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Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record

https://auth1.dpr.ncparks.gov/flora/species_account.php

https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/smilax-bona-nox/



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