Smilax australis—Austral Sarsaparilla, Lawyer Vine, Wait-a-while, Barbwire Vine—SMILACACEAE

Smilax australis

Link to Images on Flickr.

Habitat— Widespread and common in rainforest, sclerophyll forest, woodland and heath, often forming dense thickets; inland to Scone in New South Wales.

Distribution—Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Northern Territory.

Description—Dioecious climber; stems to 8 m long, usually prickly.

Local occurrences

Bennett Head, Black Head, Black Head Beach, Black Head Flora Park, Booti Hill, Brown's Creek Bicentennial Gardens, Burgess Beach, Burgess Road, Cape Hawke, Cellito, Charlotte Head, Cliff Road, Copeland, Crowdy Bay National Park, Darawank Nature Reserve and Wetland, Diamond Beach, Diamond Beach LRF, Elizabeth Beach, Forster Park and Marina, Golden Ponds Reserve, Goldens Road Wetlands, Karloo Street Reserve, Knappinghat Nature Reserve, Little Street, Ohmas Bay, One Mile Beach, Penenton Creek and Wetlands, Red Head, Saltwater Nature Reserve, Sea Acres National Park, Second Head, Seven Mile Beach and Green Point, Stephen Street Reserve, Talawahl Nature Reserve, The Sanctuary, Tiona, Tonie's Gully, Tuncurry Dunes and Heath, Tuncurry Flora Park, Waitui Falls, Wallamba River Area, Wallingat National Park, Wingham Brush and Zamia Place Reserve.

Leaves.— Plants with prickles. Leaves simple with 3 or more longitudinal veins, tendrils present, lamina lanceolate to broad—elliptic or ovate, mostly 5 to 15 cm long, 3 to 10 cm wide, apex acute to rounded and emarginate; lamina ± concolorous, glabrous, leathery, 5—veined, reticulate venation prominent; petiole 5 to 15 mm long, twisted; stipular tendrils coiling, up to 20 cm long, often breaking early.

Smilax australis
Smilax australis

Inflorescence.— Axillary, simple or compound umbels; pedicels 15 to 25 mm long. Tepals 3 to 4 mm long, green or reddish.

Flowering.—All year, but chiefly Spring to Summer.

Fruit.—Berry globose, 5 to 8 mm diam., shiny black; seeds 1 or 2.

Ripe.—Mainly Summer to Autumn

Smilax australis