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smilax

smilax, common name for a florists' plant of two separate genera (Asparagus and Smilax), both of the family Liliaceae (lily family, although some botanists recognize smilax as a separate family, the Similacaceae). The greenbriers, prickly vines often weedy in North America, belong to the same genus (Smilax) as the plants yielding sarsaparilla. Both genera are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.

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Smilax

Smilax (family Smilacaceae) A genus of slender, often spiny, woody climbers, which are net-veined monocotyledons (Monocotyledoneae), the leaves having a pair of basal, spiralling tendrils. The flowers are held in umbels, and are dioecious. Sarsaparilla is the dried roots of several of the American species. There are about 200 species, with a tropical and temperate distribution.

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smilax

smilax climbing shrub. XVII. — L. smīlax — Gr. smîlax bindweed.

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