Things frequently confused with Smilax.

I've been building a list of plants that people on iNaturalist tend to call "Smilax" when they aren't. Here's what I have so far, and I'll amend it when I get other examples. These are good ones to consider if you think you've got a Smilax but aren't sure.

The top three candidates:
Carolina snailseed, Cocculus carolinus,

Wild yam, Dioscorea villosa

Autumn Clematis, Clematis terniflora (notice it actually has 3-part compound leaves that are opposite on the stem).

Other foolers:

Bengal trumpet, Thunbergia (Florida)

Viola, when first emerging, can look like Smilax herbacea or other non-woody Smilax.


Elfin shoes Croomia pauciflora

Devil's walking stick, Aralia spinosa,

Stickseed, Hackelia virginiana (midwest) -

American Water-Plantain, Alisma subcordatum, especially young ones (

American plantain, Plantago rugelii ( Notice the hairy leaf surface, which Smilax doesn't have.

Wild sarsaparilla, Aralis nudicaulis -
(this doesn’t look like Smilax, but some people know the name “Sarsaparilla vine” for Smilax pumila and end up putting this label on it).

I've been fooled by some of these many times!

הועלה ב-פברואר 28, 2022 10:15 אחה"צ על ידי janetwright janetwright


Great list. Elfin shoes Croomia pauciflora was a new one to me. I think I have a photo of one somewhere.

פורסם על-ידי botanicaltreasures לפני יותר משנה

I appreciate this list. I've confused Carolina snailseed for Smilax.

פורסם על-ידי suz לפני יותר משנה

Good grief, some of these are remarkably similar to Smilax, not just sort of like it. I am very glad most don't grow in New England (yet). Wild yam is bad enough, and way too close appearing. I've seen Autumn clematis as a flowering adult here, those leaves in the observation make me realize care has to be taken with everything. Thank you, Janet!

פורסם על-ידי patswain לפני יותר משנה

As always wonderful science.

פורסם על-ידי yarddoc לפני יותר משנה

Another very helpful post...thank you!

פורסם על-ידי dcarrie לפני יותר משנה

Fun list!

פורסם על-ידי sedgequeen לפני יותר משנה

THANK YOU! Glad it's not just me.

פורסם על-ידי nirnroot לפני 2 חודשים

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