Item #: 11858
Zones: 7a to 10b
Height: 240" tall
Culture: Sun to Light Shade
Origin: United States
Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L) ?
Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.
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The evergreen Smilax laurifolia has a long ornamental history as a valuable trellis specimen over entrance doors of wealthy homes in the Southeast US. Since it doesn't spread and each plant is either male or female, no seed will be produced without both sexes, hence its rarity in commerce. In the wild, Smilax laurifolia can be found growing in swamps and pocosins from New Jersey southwest to Texas, although in gardens it is quite tolerant of dry sites in either sun or light shade. Our offerings are grown from our seed collections in Havelock, NC. The 20' long asparagus-like woody stalks emerge from a thick underground woody rhizome, clothed with 4" long, glossy green leathery leaves. As the stalks age, they become spiny, but nothing like most smilax species. In August, small white flowers appear in the leaf axils, followed by clusters of black fruit if you have both sexes nearby. In addition to its ornamental value, Smilax laurifolia can be cooked like asparagus or ground into a powder for making bread or seasoning soups. Medicinally, it is used to relieve pains and cramps, sores and burns, rheumatism, and stomach problems...a regular renaissance plant.