Common Greenbrier

Smilax rotundifolia


Other Names:
Roundleaf Greenbrier, Bullbrier, Catbrier, Horsebrier, Carrion-flower

Common Greenbrier is a native vine found in most of Virginia. Some of it grows near the bridge at the front of Monticello Park. Numerous birds and animals eat the fruits, which are an important late winter and early spring food for wintering birds, including Northern Cardinals and White-throated Sparrows. It is a pioneer species whose prickly impenetrable branches create cover for birds and small mammals. Native Americans used the vines to make baskets, and they used the leaves to wrap tobacco.

Identification Tools

Illinois Wildflowers Friends of the Wildflower Garden Go Botany


North America Virginia

Common Greenbrier
Glossy spring green leaves of Common Greenbrier in early May, freshly emerged from the overwintering green vines

Common Greenbrier
Mature Common Greenbrier leaves

Common Greenbrier
Common Greenbrier berries

Common Greenbrier
Thorny Common Greenbrier stem

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