Smilax auriculata from Virginia in SC

This smilax had glaucus blue fruit in early March, and was growing in the maritime forest area of Sullivans Island, SC near the dunes. There seem to be 2 Smilax species in the 2nd photo… I’m guessing the silax with larger fruit in clusters is S. bona-nox? I didn’t know if it would be helpful to have both in the photo for comparison.

The species I considered don’t seem to fruit in March, but plants don’t read botany books, so who knows?

Thanks for your help,

Hi Virginia,

actually, you have one species in your two pictures.  It is Smilax auriculata which has somewhat variable leaves that can be entire and unlobed or else with wider lower lobes. The shape of the wider leaf form does resemble that of Smilax bona-nox, however the leaf margin of Smilax bona-nox is short-bristly, and all of yours are perfectly smooth. The dune, or earleaf greenbrier, S. auriculata, is abundant on the coastal dunes. Fruit color varies with its age.  Some fruits tend to be glaucous and they are persistent in many species.


Dr, Steven Hill, Botanist, SCNPS

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