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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/26/2012)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 10/26/2012)
Genus SMILAX L.
PlaceOfPublication Sp. P1. 1028. 1753
Reference Apt, in Fedde Repert. Sp. Nov. 18:385-422. 1922; Killip & Morton in Carn. Inst. Publ. 461:255-296. 1936.
Description Woody vines from large rhizomes; leaves alternate, palmately nerved, the petiole sheathing at base, bearing a pair of tendrils at the apex of the sheath; flowers unisexual, borne in solitary axillary umbels, or the umbels pseudoracemose on short axillary branchlets; perianth segments 6, distinct, narrow, equal or nearly so; stamens 6, the filaments slender, free; styles 3; ovules solitary in the cells, pendulous; fruit a fleshy berry, commonly 1-seeded.
Note The rhizomes of certain species produce the well-known Sarsaparilla of commerce.
Key a. Plants entirely glabrous, sometimes spiny. b. Staminate flowers 2.8 mm. long or less; leaves with reticulate sec- ondary veins, usually aculeate on the nerves beneath; branchlets angular; peduncles shorter than the petioles - 1. S. SPINOSA bb. Staminate flowers 4 mm. long or more; leaves unarmed. c. Peduncles of pistillate umbels shorter than the subtending petioles, terete; stems terete; anthers shorter than the filaments; stami- nodia ---- 2. S. DOMINGENSIS cc. Peduncles of pistillate umbels longer than the petioles, flattened; staminodia 6 (not known in S. chiriquensis). d. Anthers longer than the filaments; stems (at least the lower) terete. e. Staminate flowers sessile; staminate umbels solitary, axillary, long-peduncled; leaves 5-nerved (the outer nerves marginal), the secondary veins parallel -_ - _ -- - 3. S. SPISSA ee. Staminate flowers obviously pedicellate; staminate umbels borne on short, bracteate, raceme-like branchlets; leaves 7- nerved (the outer nerves marginal), the secondary veins prominently reticulate --- 4. S. PANAMENSIS dd. Anthers much shorter than the filaments; stems sharply quad- rangular ----- 5. S. cHIRIQUENSIS aa. Plants hairy or, in S. subpubescens, glabrate at maturity, but then at least a few hairs persistent on the petioles, peduncles or pedicels, always unarmed; anthers shorter than the filaments. b. Branchlets obtusely quadrangular, glabrate at maturity; staminodia 6; inflorescence and young growth rusty-tomentose; peduncles shorter than the subtending petioles; leaves glabrate at maturity - 6. S. SUBPUBESCENS bb. Branchlets terete (except the lowermost), hairy even at maturity; staminodia 3 - _ --- 7. S. MOLLIS
 
 
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