Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Smilax jamesii

Higher Taxonomy
Family: SmilacaceaeView Description 

Habit: [Perennial herb, shrub] vine, from rhizomes, stolons, or caudices, dioecious. Stem: erect or climbing, generally prickly, scaly below, leafy above. Leaf: simple, opposite or alternate, veins net-like between generally 3 stronger veins; petioles generally with 2+ tendrils near base. Inflorescence: generally umbel [raceme, spike]. Flower: perianth parts 6, in 2 petal-like whorls, free [rarely united], stamens 6, free (as staminodes in pistillate flowers); ovary superior, chambers 2 or 3, style +- 0, stigmas 3, (pistils 0 or reduced, sterile in staminate flowers). Fruit: berry, black, purple, blue, red [orange] (white). Seed: 1--2/chamber.
Genera In Family: 4(12) genera, 375 species: temperate, tropics.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: SmilaxView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb; caudex generally large, tuber-like. Stem: climbing or trailing, woody below or not, often prickly +- throughout. Leaf: alternate, deciduous or persistent; base rounded to sagittate; petiole tendrils generally 2. Inflorescence: umbels or clusters, axillary. Flower: perianth parts white to +- green or +- yellow; ovary chambers generally 3, stigmas spreading. Fruit: black, purple, blue, or red (white). Seed: 1--6, black.
Species In Genus: +- 350 species: especially tropics, also temperate North America, eastern Asia. Etymology: (Greek: origin uncertain)

Smilax jamesii G.A. Wallace
Habit: Vine; rhizome long, +- zigzag. Stem: 2--3 m, herbaceous; central pith present. Leaf: 5--8 cm, triangular to +- ovate, acute or rigid-tipped, adaxially dark green, abaxially glaucous, minutely papillate, base truncate to +- cordate. Inflorescence: staminate generally < 20-flowered; pistillate generally < 40-flowered; peduncles 5--13.5 cm, stout, +- erect. Flower: perianth parts +- 1.5 mm wide, spreading or reflexed, elliptic to oblong. Fruit: 6--8 mm, dark blue (drying dull maroon). Seed: 6.
Ecology: Lakesides, streambanks, alder thickets in montane conifer forest; Elevation: generally 1500--2500 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, CaR. Flowering Time: May--Jul Note: Only herbaceous sp. in western North America; member of Smilax herbacea L. complex, otherwise of eastern North America.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Smilax californica
Next taxon: Tecophilaeaceae

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botanical illustration including Smilax jamesii


Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal 2017. Smilax jamesii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 27, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 27, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Smilax jamesii:
KR, CaR.
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.