Smilax bona-nox

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Common Names: Saw Greenbrier [1], Catbrier, Bullbrier [2]

Smilax bona-nox
Smilax bona-nox SEF.jpg
Photo by John Gwaltney hosted at Southeastern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida - Moncots
Order: Liliales
Family: Smilacaceae
Genus: Smilax
Species: S. bona-nox
Binomial name
Smilax bona-nox
Natural range of Smilax bona-nox from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonym: S. bona-nox var. exauriculata (Fernald), S. bona-nox var. hederifolia (Beyrich) Fernald

Variety: S. bona-nox var. littoralis (Coker ex Sorrie)


S. bona-nox is a perennial shrub/vine of the Smilacaceae family that is native to North America. [1]


S. bona-nox is found in the southeastern United States; Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas.[1]



Common habitats for S. bona-nox include wetland and upland habitats, dunes, and maritime thickets and forests. [3] S. bona-nox can grow in a variety of soils, coarse, medium, and fine textures.[1] It has a medium tolerance to drought and a high tolerance for shade. [1] Habitats that specimens have been collected from include moist loamy soil near creeks, edges of msic woodland, and lower tidal swamps. [4]


S. bona-nox has been observed flowering in April. [5]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by consumption by vertebrates. [6]

Fire ecology

S. bona-nox has a high tolerance to fire. [1]

Conservation and Management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 USDA Plant Database
  2. Gee, K. L., et al. (1994). White-tailed deer: their foods and management in the cross timbers. Ardmore, OK, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.
  3. Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  4. URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, R>K.Godfrey, Chris Cooksey, R. Komarek, J.M. Kane, Herbert Kessler, Tina Kessler, William Platt, M. Darst, L. Webster, L.Peed. States and counties: Florida (Wakulla, Leon, Holmes, Liberty, Levy) Georgia (Thomas, Grady)
  5. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 29 MAY 2018
  6. 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.