Green Briar/Greenbriar (Smilax sp.)
Roundleaf Green Briar (Smilax rotundifolia) is the most common
of the Smilax species, but other weed names of this species include Bull
Briar and Cat Briar.
Many new gardeners are often lured by curiosity to
allow a small plant
to grow, not knowing exactly what it is. By catching this one early
a lot of headaches will be saved.
In a few growing seasons this creeping
vine becomes invasive. It has been known
to smother and pull down shrubs then grow upward into mature, well established trees
and bring them down in time to.
In its young stage green briar is more tender. As this vine grows
upward, a tendril, or thin winding structure, attaches
itself to other vegetation and climbs.
Eventually it becomes a woody vine that
can be rounded or angled with needle-sharp thorns that easily scratch and tear clothes.
|Photo: Anita Rust|
Weed leaves are heart or spade-shaped and grow 2 - 5 inches in diameter. They
are glossy with distinctive parallel veins that run the margin of the leaf. A
petiole, or small branch-like stem, attaches the vine to the
leaf. Leaves grow off of the vine in an alternating pattern.
The petioles produce the tendrils that wind around other vegetation.
Flowers are small and can be yellowish-green to a yellowish-brown. They bloom
in clusters April through August, depending on location. They produce red to
dark purple berries which appear in September, but may stay throughout the
winter. The seeds that are produced are about 1/4 inch in diameter.
This vine grows from one bulb that is so deep in the ground it is rarely possible to get to. This bulb creates rhizome tubers about every 1 -2 feet, which in turn, produces more plants. Although seeds can create new vine weeds, most new growth is created from the tubers.
Hardened roots grow very large and are claw-like in appearance. Roots store
water and nutrients quite well, enabling it to grow in any kind of soil with any
kind of water supply. These hardened claws also wrap extensively around the
roots of wanted trees and plants.
Eradicating this plant is close to impossible and takes a strong commitment.
Attempting to hand pull usually results in breaking off the top-growth which the
root quickly replaces.
Gardeners who have successfully removed this conglomerate did so by
constantly chopping vines down, digging tubers out of the ground or cutting back
tubers about an inch or two from the surface. This will be an on-going process.
After cutting back, spray, or paint, a broadleaf weed killer over
the freshly cut and exposed tuber. A vine & stump killer or brush killer can
be effective, along with crossbow weed killer (and generics) to.
Herbicide options come with no guarantees. The common theme to eradicating this weed is constant weeding management. Your local extension office may also have recommendations.
Butterfly Garden on Facebook
Jan 14, 17 08:14 PM
Annual bluegrass (Poa annua) is considered a weed in the Poa family, which has a few popular turf grasses. If this gets into your butterfly garden listed are a few ways to eradicate it.
Sep 25, 16 10:54 PM
There are the annual, or Iberis, candytuft flowers and also perennials which are called Iberis sempervirens.
Sep 19, 16 01:10 PM
Reviewing the types of products available for keeping deer out of our gardens along with building fences. Many of these products help with other garden pests.
Sep 19, 16 12:52 PM
Compared to other wildlife gardening, butterfly meadows take time and are not for the faint of heart.
Sep 19, 16 12:32 PM
Natural gardening includes different types of gardens. These garden types create a casual, natural envirionment and help sustain native wildlife which includes butterflies.