Friday, January 9, 2009
Greenbriar, Smilax rotundifolia, to anyone who has tangled with it, will know it as organic barbed wire. For birds and small mammals, it's just the ticket for those in need of a well defended castle. It's common to see small animal trails throughout the vines and rabbits are known to nest their young there. Sorry, but there are no trails photos yet--there's snow on the ground and more on the way.
Also known as horsebriar or bullbriar, it's one of very few North Eastern USA vines to sport both thorns and tendrils. This specie will have tendrils only--no thorns, that is-- on the nodes. That and a good jab make it an easy identification.
By the way, Monday's mystery grass is in the clutches of a greenbriar vine, although it curiously has a very light hold on the culm, unlike the tight grips we see in the top shot.