• WordNet 3.6
    • n smilax fragile twining plant of South Africa with bright green flattened stems and glossy foliage popular as a floral decoration
    • n Smilax sometimes placed in Smilacaceae
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Smilax (Bot) A genus of perennial climbing plants, usually with a prickly woody stem; green brier, or cat brier. The rootstocks of certain species are the source of the medicine called sarsaparilla.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n smilax A genus of liliaceous plants, type of the tribe Smilaceæ. It is characterized by diœcious flowers in umbels, with a perianth of six distinct curving segments, the fertile containing several, sometimes six, thread-shaped staminodes, three broad recurved stigmas, and a three-celled ovary which becomes in fruit a globose berry usually containing but one or two seeds. There are about 200 species, widely scattered through most tropical and temperate regions; 11 occur in the northeastern United States. They are usually woody vines from a stout root-stock, bearing alternate two-ranked evergreen leaves with reticulated veins between the three or more prominent nerves. The petioles are persistent at the base, and are often furnished with two tendrils, by which some species climb to great heights, and others mat into densely tangled thickets. Various tropical American species yield sarsaparilla. (See sarsaparilla and china-root.) S. aspera of the south of Europe, called rough bindweed or prickly ivy, is the source of Italian sarsaparilla. Other species are used medicinally in India, Australia, Mauritius, and the Philippines. One of these, S. glycyphylla, an evergreen shrubby climber of Australia, is there known as sweet tea, from the use of its leaves. The rootstocks of many species are large and tuberiferous; those of S. Pseudo-China are used in the southern United States to fatten hogs, and as the source of a domestic beer; those of S. China yield a dye. The stems of some pliant species, as S. Pseudo-China, are used in basket-making, and the young shoots of a Persian species are there used as asparagus. S. Pseudo-China and S. bona-nox are known as bullbrier, and several others with prickly stems as catbrier and greenbrier. See also carrion-flower.
    • n smilax A plant of the genus Smilax.
    • n smilax A delicate greenhouse vine from the Cape of Good Hope, best known as Myrsiphyllum aspa ragoides, now classed under Asparagus. Its apparent leaves (really expanded branches) are bright-green on both sides, with the aspect of those of Smilax, but finer. The plant grows to a length of several feet, festooning beautifully. It is much used in decoration, and forms the leading green constituent in bouquets. It is sometimes called Boston smilax.
    • n smilax In entomology, a genus of coleopterous insects.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Smilax smī′laks a genus of liliaceous plants, type of the tribe Smilaceæ—the roots of several species yield sarsaparilla.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., bindweed, Gr.


In literature:

Crocus and Smilax are made into flowers.
"The Metamorphoses of Ovid" by Publius Ovidius Naso
Smilax, as now used by florists, is but a very recent affair.
"Prairie Farmer, Vol. 56: No. 3, January 19, 1884." by Various
She peeped into the ball-room, smilax-draped and glowing as if eager to welcome the guests to come.
"Jewel Weed" by Alice Ames Winter
Flowers, smilax, etc., may be pinned on this, which produce a very pretty effect.
"Fifty Salads" by Thomas Jefferson Murrey
Bea and Lila are going to the hothouse for smilax and chrysanthemums.
"Beatrice Leigh at College" by Julia Augusta Schwartz
The great auditorium was a bower of smilax and chrysanthemums, bewildering, amazing, superb in its verdant labyrinth.
"In Our Town" by William Allen White
Smilax could have achieved it, but Smilax was a wonder.
"Wings of the Wind" by Credo Harris
How prettily you are putting that smilax on, Frieda!
"The Wide Awake Girls in Winsted" by Katharine Ellis Barrett
Now here is Smilax, who is living, in a small, neat way, on his salary from the daily press.
"Household Papers and Stories" by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Her bouquet was of bride roses and smilax.
"Elsie at Viamede" by Martha Finley

In news:

SOUTH BEND — The St Joseph County Board of Commissioners voted 3-0 today to approve a petition to operate a metal shredder on Smilax Road in Olive Township.