Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon

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)
Reference: Cameron & Fu 2006 Aliso 22:598--605
Unabridged Reference: Cameron, K. M. & C. Fu. 2006. A nuclear rDNA phylogeny of Smilax (Smilacaceae). Aliso 22:598--605
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.
Jepson eFlora Author: Dale W. McNeal
Reference: Cameron & Fu 2006 Aliso 22:598--605
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Smilax californica
Next taxon: Tecophilaeaceae

Name Search

Botanical illustration including Smilax jamesii

botanical illustration including Smilax jamesii


Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal 2012, Smilax jamesii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 13, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 13, 2021.

Smilax jamesii
click for enlargement
© 2015 Steve Matson
Smilax jamesii
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer
Smilax jamesii
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer
Smilax jamesii
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer
Smilax jamesii
click for enlargement
© 2015 Steve Matson
Smilax jamesii
click for enlargement
© 2015 Steve Matson

More photos of Smilax jamesii in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Smilax jamesii:
KR, CaR.
1. You can change the display of the base map and layers by clicking on the layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. California county polygons can be turned off and on in the layer control box.
3. Filling of Jepson subdivision polygons can be turned off and on in the layer control box.
4. Moving the cursor over any numbered cluster will show the range boundary of the included specimens (with a blue polygon).
5. Marker clustering can be turned off by clicking this link:      Marker Clustering OFF
WARNING: Turning this off might cause maps with large numbers of specimens to load slowly.
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).


View elevation by latitude chart

Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).