smilax

/smuy"laks/, n.
1. any plant belonging to the genus Smilax, of the lily family, growing in tropical and temperate zones, consisting mostly of vines having woody stems.
2. a delicate, twining plant, Asparagus asparagoides, of the lily family, having glossy, bright-green, egg-shaped leaves, cultivated by florists.
[1595-1605; < L smilax bindweed < Gk smîlax bindweed, yew]

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Any of about 300 species of woody or herbaceous vines, variously known as catbriers and greenbriers, that make up the genus Smilax (family Smilacaceae), native to tropical and temperate regions.

The stems of many species are covered with prickles, the lower leaves are scalelike, and the leathery upper leaves have untoothed blades with three to nine large veins. White or yellow-green flowers are followed by clusters of red or bluish-black berries. Common catbrier (S. rotundifolia) and carrion flower (S. herbacea) of eastern North America are sometimes cultivated to form impenetrable thickets. See also sarsaparilla.

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▪ plant genus
 genus of plants in the family Smilacaceae, consisting of about 300 species of woody or herbaceous vines, variously known as catbriers and greenbriers, native to tropical and temperate parts of the world. The stems of many species are covered with prickles; the lower leaves are scalelike; and the leathery upper leaves have untoothed blades with three to nine large veins. The white or yellow-green male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. The fruit is a red or bluish-black berry.

      Young shoots of S. aspera are edible. Carrion flower (S. herbacea) and common catbrier (S. rotundifolia) of eastern North America are sometimes cultivated to form impenetrable thickets.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Smilax — Smilax …   Wikipédia en Français

  • smilax — ● smilax nom masculin Nom générique de la salsepareille. ⇒SMILAX, subst. masc. BOT. Plante vivace de la famille des Liliacées, à baies rouges et à tige anguleuse, dont la salsepareille représente une espèce. Entre la cabane de Chactas et celle d… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • smilax — c.1600, from Latin, from Gk. smilax “blindweed.” …   Etymology dictionary

  • Smilax — Smi lax, n. [L., bindweed, Gr. ???.] (Bot.) (a) A genus of perennial climbing plants, usually with a prickly woody stem; green brier, or cat brier. The rootstocks of certain species are the source of the medicine called sarsaparilla. (b) A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Smilax [1] — Smilax, 1) (gr.), Art Winden, welche überall wuchsen, wohin Dionysos auf seinen Zügen gekommen sein sollte; 2) mythische Person, welche den Krokos heftig geliebt haben u. da sie seine Liebe nicht genießen konnte, aus Trauer in die Blume gleiches… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Smilax [2] — Smilax (S. L.), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Smilaceae Convallarieae, Diöcie, Tetrandrie L.; Arten zahlreich, größtentheils außereuropäische Schlingpflanzen; S. aspera, mit stachligem Stängel u. Blättern, welche herzförmig, spitzig u.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Smilax — L. (Stechwinde, Sarsaparille, Sassaparille), Gattung der Liliazeen, kletternde, selten niedrige Sträucher, mit zweireihigen, oft ausdauernden, rundlichen, eiförmigen, herz oder fast pfeilförmigen, drei auch mehrnervigen Blättern, am Grunde des… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Smilax — L., Pflanzengattg. der Liliazeen, immergrüne Kletterpflanzen, meist im nördl. Südamerika und Zentralamerika. Die Wurzeln von S. syphilitĭca Humb. et Bonpl. [Abb. 1755; a Blüte, b Gruppe von Früchten], officinālis Kth., medĭca Schlecht und cordāto …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Smilax — SMILAX, ăcis, eine gewisse Person, die den Krokon heftig liebete. Da sie dessen aber nicht habhaft werden konnte, so wurden beyde in Bluhmen ihres Namens verwandelt. Ovid. Metam. IV. v. 283. & ad eum Farnab. l. c …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • Smilax —   [griechisch], die Pflanzengattung Stechwinde.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • smilax — [smī′laks΄] n. [L < Gr, bindweed] 1. GREENBRIER 2. a twining greenhouse vine (Asparagus asparagoides) of the lily family, with bright green foliage …   English World dictionary

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