Smilax auriculata

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Smilax auriculata
Smilax auriculata Gil.jpg
Photo taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Liliales
Family: Smilacaceae
Genus: Smilax
Species: S. auriculata
Binomial name
Smilax auriculata
SMIL AURI dist.jpg
Natural range of Smilax auriculata from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Earleaf greenbrier, Dune greenbrier, Wild-bamboo

Taxonomic notes


A description of Smilax auriculata is provided in The Flora of North America.




In the Coastal Plain, specifically in Florida and Georgia, S. auriculata can be found bordering mesic woodlands, longleaf pine turkey oak sand ridges, [1] palmetto flatwoods,[1] [2] oak-saw palmetto scrubs,[3] sandhill communities,[1] [4] xeric longleaf pine woodlands (Peet and Allard 1993), and unburned scrubby flatwoods.[5] It can also be found along railroads, powerline corridors, and disturbed longleaf pine restoration sites. [1] Soil types include loamy sand [6] [3] and sandy, siliceous, hyperthermic Ultic haplaquod of the Pomona series. [7] In habitats that include Pinus palustris, Quercus laevis, Q. incana, Sporobolus junceus and Licania michauxii, S. auriculata accounts for most of the groundcover density.[8]


S. auriculata has been observed flowering in April and May and fruiting June through July.[1][9]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by consumption by vertebrates.[10]

Seed bank and germination

It can reproduce by resprouting, clonal spreading, and seeding.[5]

Fire ecology

It increases in abundance after fire.[5] Its rapid recovery post-fire can be attributed to large specialized storage organs.[2] However, it was figured out that S. auriculata decreased to almost nonexistent following a May fire, suggesting that season of burning is important for this species.[11]


The following Hymenoptera families and species were observed visiting flowers of Smilax auriculata at Archbold Biological Station:[12]

Apidae: Apis mellifera

Halictidae: Augochlora pura

Megachilidae: Coelioxys dolichos, Megachile mendica, M. xylocopoides

Deyrup (2002)observed these bees, Augochlora pura, Coelioxys dolichos, Megachile mendica, M. xylocopoides, Apis mellifera, Xylocopa micans, X. virginica krombeini, on S. auriculata. [13]

Use by animals

S. auriculata was found in 5.5% of the Gopherus polyphemus scat[14] therefore, the gopher tortoise serves as an agent of seed dispersal.

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: July 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Robert K. Godfrey, Robert A. Norris, R. Komarek, Cindi Stewart, Cecil R Slaughter, Marc Minno, Bob Fewster, Lisa Keppner. States and Counties: Florida: Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Jackson, Leon, Wakulla, Washington. Georgia: Camden. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Olano, J. M., E. S. Menges, et al. (2006). "Carbohydrate storage in five resprouting Florida scrub plants across a fire chronosequence." New Phytologist 170: 99-105.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Foster, Tammy E., Paul A. Schmalzer. (2003). "The effect of season of fire on the recovery of Florida scrub". Dynamac Corporation, Kennedy Space Center, Florida. 2B.7.
  4. Reinhart, K. O. and E. S. Menges (2004). "Effects of re-introducing fire to a central Florida sandhill community." Applied Vegetation Science 7: 141-150.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Menges, E. and N. Kohfeldt (1995). "Life History Strategies of Florida Scrub Plants in Relation to Fire." Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 122(4): 282-297
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named FSU_herbarium
  7. Moore, W. H., B. F. Swindel, et al. (1982). "Vegetative response to prescribed fire in a north Florida flatwoods forest." Journal of Range Management 35: 386-389.
  8. Provencher, L. M., B. J. Herring, et al. (2001). "Effects of hardwood reduction techniques on longleaf pine sandhill vegetation in northwest Florida." Restoration Ecology 9: 13-27.
  9. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 13 DEC 2016
  10. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  11. Greenberg, C. H. (2003). "Vegetation recovery and stand structure following a prescribed stand-replacement burn in sand pine scrub." Natural Areas Journal 23: 141-151.
  12. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.
  13. Deyrup, Mark., Jayanthi Edirisinghe, Beth Norden. (2002). "The diversity and floral hosts of bees at the Archbold Biological Station, Florida (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Insecta Mundi. Vol. 16. No.1-3. Pages 87-102.
  14. Carlson, J. E., E. S. Menges, et al. (2003). "Seed dispersal by Gopherus polyphemus at Archbold Biological Station, Florida." Florida Scientist 66: 147-154.