Virginia Tech Dendrology

saw greenbrier Smilacaceae Smilax bona-nox L. Listen to the Latin symbol: SMBO2
Leaf: Alternate, simple, 3 rounded lobes to cordate, 2 to 5 inches long, parallel veined, entire or with small sharp teeth on the margins, shiny dark green and often mottled above, paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; small light yellow-green, borne in small round clusters in late spring.
Fruit: Dark blue to black berries, 1/4 inch in diameter, borne in clusters, often covered with a powdery, waxy bloom; maturing in late summer and persist over winter.
Twig: Stout, green, usually sharply 4-angled with many scattered, stiff prickles, climbs with tendrils; very tough and stiff but new spring sprouts are tender and edible.
Bark: Remaining green for a long period of time, turning brown on old stems.
Form: Most often a climbing vine, but may also form a small, tangled bush.
Looks like: catbrier - laurel greenbrier - common greenbrier - bristly greenbrier
leaf fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Smilax bona-nox is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting saw greenbrier.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654