upright carrionflower

(Smilax ecirrhata)

Conservation Status
upright carrionflower
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Upright carrionflower is a 12 to 36 tall, erect to leaning, perennial forb that rises from a rhizome. It is not a vine.

The stems are annual, unbranched, and green, not woody. They are not armed with bristles or prickles. They may have a few short tendrils or no tendrils at all. They do not climb.

There are usually 7 to 9 leaves, though there may be as many as 20. The leaves on the lower portion of the stem are reduced to triangular, leaf-like bracts. The principal leaves are alternate and are more or less crowded at the end of the stem. They are on thin leaf stalks that are shorter than the leaf blade. The leaf blade is thin, broadly egg-shaped to almost round, 3½ to 4¾ long, and 2 to 3½ wide. They are rounded at the tip, sometimes with a short, sharp, abrupt tip, and heart-shaped at the base. The upper surface is green and hairless with 3 to 7 conspicuous veins that arch from the base of the leaf blade and converge toward the tip. The lower surface is light green or grayish-green, is not glaucous, and is covered with minute, white, flattened hairs. The margin has scattered, minute, tooth-like projections. The margin is not thickened or lobed.

The inflorescence is 1 to 3 globe-shaped, umbrella-like clusters (umbels) rising from the axils of bracts on the lower, leafless portion of the stem. Each umbel has 8 to 25 flowers and is on a 2 to 4 long stalk.

Each flower has 3 green to yellowish-green, strap-shaped petals and 3 similar sepals (6 tepals). The male flower has 6 stamens with yellow anthers. The flowers appear in late May to late June.

The fruit is a purplish-black, globular berry, to 7 16 in diameter. It is usually not glaucous at maturity.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

12 to 36

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Green to yellowish-green

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Woods

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
  May to June  
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28.

 
  2/7/2020      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Liliopsida (monocots)  
 

Order

Liliales (lilies, supplejacks, and allies)  
 

Family

Smilacaceae (catbrier)  
 

Genus

Smilax (greenbriar)  
  Section Nemexia  
       
 

There are two distinct groups within the genus Smilax. One group, section Nemexia, has herbaceous unarmed stems that die back to the ground each year. The second group, section Smilax, has woody perennial stems with thorns. Plants in the former group, including upright carrionflower, were formerly classified in the genus Nemexia, which is now considered invalid.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Nemexia ecirrata

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

greenbriar

upright carrion-flower

upright carrionflower

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where a branch, stem, leaf stalk, or vein diverges.

 

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

Tepal

Refers to both the petals and the sepals of a flower when they are similar in appearance and difficult to tell apart. Tepals are common in lilies and tulips.

 

Umbel

A flat-topped or convex, umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers or buds arising from more or less a single point.

       
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Luciearl
       
  upright carrionflower   upright carrionflower
       
       
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Plant

  upright carrionflower   upright carrionflower
       

Leaves

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Infructescence

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Luciearl
6/24/2020

Location: Fritz Loven Park, Lake Shore, Cass County

upright carrionflower


     
     
 
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