Things frequently confused with Smilax.

I've been building a list of plants that people on iNaturalist tend to call "Smilax" when they aren't. Here's what I have so far, and I'll amend it when I get other examples. These are good ones to consider if you think you've got a Smilax but aren't sure.

Bengal trumpet, Thunbergia (Florida)

Carolina snailseed, Cocculus carolinus,

Wild yam, Dioscorea villosa

Autumn Clematis, Clematis terniflora (notice it actually has 3-part compound leaves that are opposite on the stem).

Viola, when first emerging, can look like Smilax herbacea or other non-woody Smilax.


Elfin shoes Croomia pauciflora

Devil's walking stick, Aralia spinosa,

Stickseed, Hackelia virginiana (midwest) -

American Water-Plantain, Alisma subcordatum, especially young ones (

American plantain, Plantago rugelii ( Notice the hairy leaf surface, which Smilax doesn't have.

Wild sarsaparilla, Aralis nudicaulis -
(this doesn’t look like Smilax, but some people know the name “Sarsaparilla vine” for Smilax pumila and end up putting this label on it).

I've been fooled by some of these many times!

Posted on Δευτέρα 28 Φεβρουάριος 2022 22:15:03 UTC by janetwright janetwright


Great list. Elfin shoes Croomia pauciflora was a new one to me. I think I have a photo of one somewhere.

Αναρτήθηκε από botanicaltreasures πάνω από 1 χρόνo πριν (Αναφορά)

I appreciate this list. I've confused Carolina snailseed for Smilax.

Αναρτήθηκε από suz πάνω από 1 χρόνo πριν (Αναφορά)

Good grief, some of these are remarkably similar to Smilax, not just sort of like it. I am very glad most don't grow in New England (yet). Wild yam is bad enough, and way too close appearing. I've seen Autumn clematis as a flowering adult here, those leaves in the observation make me realize care has to be taken with everything. Thank you, Janet!

Αναρτήθηκε από patswain πάνω από 1 χρόνo πριν (Αναφορά)

As always wonderful science.

Αναρτήθηκε από yarddoc πάνω από 1 χρόνo πριν (Αναφορά)

Another very helpful post...thank you!

Αναρτήθηκε από dcarrie πάνω από 1 χρόνo πριν (Αναφορά)

Fun list!

Αναρτήθηκε από sedgequeen πάνω από 1 χρόνo πριν (Αναφορά)

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