Smilax hispida Rafinesque var. hispida . clade: B2. Phen: Apr-May. Hab: Bottomland, riparian, and mesic upland forests, especially along brownwater rivers, and in other situations with relatively high pH and nutrients. Dist: CT, NY, MN, and NE south to GA and ne. TX.
ID notes: When the whole plant is available (often not true in herbarium specimens), the species (both varieties) is easily distinguished from our other taxa by the usually abundant presence of dark bristles on the stems. Other characters that are useful are the impressed main veins and the leaf margins bearing numerous non-spinose enations.
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Taxonomy Comments: Wilbur (2003) discussed the complicated nomenclatural problems involving this plant and concluded that S. hispida Rafinesque is the correct name. Infrataxa sometimes recognized in the past (see synonymy) need critical examination. Var. australis J.B. Norton, with auriculate or more usually pandurate leaves, does seem to be largely or completely limited to the Coastal Plain from e. NC southwards.
Synonymy: = S, Coker (1944); = Smilax tamnoides L. var. hispida (Muhl.) Fernald – F, Il; < Smilax hispida Raf. – Ar, C, G, K3, K4, Mi, Mo1, NE, NY, Pa, RAB, Va, WV, Wilbur (2003); < Smilax tamnoides L. – ETx1, FNA26, GW1, K1, NcTx, Tn, W, WH3, Bullard & Allen (2013), Judd (1998), misapplied