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Old 10-09-2014, 01:56 PM   #1
Birding Bunch's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Iowa, USA
Default Carrion Flower

Carrion Flower-carrionmaybe.jpg

Sorry I've not been posting much, but I am no less interested in natives. I have to take time away from forums now and again.

I've narrowed this down to a carrion flower, a type of Smilax, but cannot get the exact species. Any thorny greenbriar is ruled out, I went back to the plant today and verified there is not a thorn on it. I probably would not plant it, if it did. I already find myself in cockleburs, thistles and whatnots as I look for interesting things, I do not need another.

My guesses:
Smilax ecirrhata (Upright)
Smilax herbacea (Smooth)
Smilax lasioneura (Common or Blue Ridge)

I could be way off, but I want to plant the seeds I collected and give them the best possible chance at growing, even thriving. I can guess lighting conditions based on where I found it, along a fence between two very tall evergreens, but the south sun was hitting it directly. I want to know soil and water conditions as I think these plants have different needs.

I think if I get berries from these, I want to give the jelly as gifts. I am trying to imagine what I'd call it... Carrion Jelly, Carrion fruit jelly... A Vulture's Delight...

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Old 10-09-2014, 02:43 PM   #2
A Bee's Best Friend
Gloria's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA

Take a close look after reading this.
smilax ecirrhata
Smilax**** ecirrhata: UW-Stevens Point Freckmann Herbarium: Plant Details Page

Leaf , less than 20, usually 7-9 and crowding the upper 2/3 of the stem; widely oval,
rounding to a short point, heart-shaped base; parallel veins,

underside finely hairy, stalks shorter than the leaf blade
none to a few tendrils; no prickles, unbranched

smilax herbacea
Smooth Carrion Flower (Smilax herbacea)
Smilax herbacea - Smooth Carrion Flower can be distinguished from similar species using one or more of the following criteria:

1) the undersides of its leaves are pale green and totally hairless,
2) its umbel-bearing peduncles are at least 4 times longer than the petioles of adjacent leaves,
3) it is a climbing or sprawling vine with numerous tendrils.
The remaining Carrion Flowers in Illinois are shorter vines with an upright habit of growth and they have much fewer, if any, tendrils.

The very similar Smilax lasioneura (Common Carrion Flower)

has fine hairs along the veins of its leaf undersides (and sometimes between the veins as well)
while its peduncles are less than 4 times the length of the petioles of the adjacent leaves.
"Half Earth Quest" Edward O. Wilson

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berries, carrion, carrion flower, flower, identification needed, vine

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