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Smilax aspera

Smilax aspera
Photo Information
Copyright: Catherine Dijon (CatherineD) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 861 W: 57 N: 4006] (14097)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-10-04
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Canon EOS 40 D, Canon EF 100 mm F2.8 Macro USM
Exposure: f/9.0
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Plants of Europe I [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-10-11 5:26
Viewed: 4594
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
On some places of Samos, they were a nice honey smell. The island is well known for its pure honey, but in fact it was the flowers of the Common Smilax which give this smell. This plant can give flowers and fruits on the same time. A pleasure for the eyes too.

Smilax aspera L.
Family: Smilacaceae
Common names: Common Smilax, Rough Bindweed, Prickly ivy, Salsaparilla [En], Salsepareille, Liseron épineux [Fr], Αρκουδόβατος [Gr], Başta nemçesaparnası, Yurdumuzda nemçe saparnası [Tr]

It is a creeping or scrambling and vigorously climbing evergreen and tough shrub. It is a glabrous, dioecious perennial. The stems can be up to 15 m, twining and climbing into and over other trees, with spiny zigzag branches.
The leathery, glossy and alternating leaves draw more attention than the flowers. Large leaves can be up to 15 X 9.5 cm but are mostly smaller. They are heart-shaped, very leathery and have a pair of tendrils arising from the base of the petiole, with prickles on petiole, margin and principal veins beneath. The blade has several strong longitudinal veins and reticulate fine venation, with pale green patches on the upper surface of most leaves. The size and shape of the leaves are very variable.
The flowers are borne in inflorescences in the leaf axils and on terminal branches. Every umbel has a few typically monocot flowers that have a sweet almond smell. The axes can range from 3 to more than 30 cm, and carry 5 to 30 flowers with minute bracteoles. The flowers are white but the perianth-segments are so narrow that the flowers are hardly noticed.
The male flowers measure about 1 cm across and consist of 6 perianth segments and 6 stamens. The female flowers are smaller, about 7 mm across. They consist of 6 perianth segments.
The fruit is a spherical rather soft berry, about 10 mm long and 7 mm broad. The mature berries are red, when they dry out they turn black.

Flowering Season: August - November
Habitat: garrigue, phrygana, shrub and bushy places throughout the Mediterranean region, frequently forming an impenetrable hedgerow.
Distribution: Mediterranean region, Central Africa, Central Asia, Mexico.
Medicinal uses: The Common Smilax is sometimes medically used to treat psoriasis, bronchitis, enfisema, asthma and chronic rheumatism. The mature berries are squeezed and applied to the skin in the treatment of cutaneous disease.
Etymology: Smilax comes from the Greek name for "poison". According to Dioscorides, it was considered an antidote to poison, and if the berries were crushed into a drink and given to a new-born child, ‘he shall be hurt by no poisonous medicine’.
aspera comes from the Latin word for “rough”, possibly referring to the toughness of its branches, or to the presence of many small prickles that make the plant cling to clothes and other plants, giving it a rough sensation.
Mythology: There are different versions about Smilax in Greek mythology, but all involve a relationship between the beautiful nymph Smilax with a Spartan boy, Krokos, loved by the god Hermes. After the unhappy love affair Hermes (or Artemis?) metamorphosed him into the saffron crocus. Aphrodite transformed the tragic nymph into the Smilax, to grow nearby, so that they could be together for eternity.

Flowers of Chania

boreocypriensis, Dis. Ac., uleko, joska, cirano, eqshannon, goldyrs, haraprasan, ferranjlloret has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To uleko: In the future...CatherineD 2 10-12 06:38
To boreocypriensis: Thanks...CatherineD 1 10-11 09:10
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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Catherine, beautiful collage with lovely plant on a wonderful blurry BG, good natural colors and splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Catherine,

A very interesting plant species.
Details of the fine points of showing up to work was a wonderful.
Presentation and thanks for sharing.

Best Regards

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-10-11 6:49]

Hello Catherine,
wow...such an exciting view. The fruits really look wonderful. The collage gives a good information on the plant.
Well composed in clarity and sharpness.
Very new plant to me.


Really awesome and pleasure to eye dear Cathy.
You've made a fine collage to present this beautiful plant and its berries.
TFS and have a nice day!


Hi Catherine,

an interesting plan/flower.
Very nice colage with different pov and good of sharpness.
fine colours.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-10-11 7:57]
  • [+]

Hello Catherine,
A lovely presentation of this beautiful climber - a pity we can't smell it! Excellent work showing great sharpness and beautiful colours of both berries and flowers.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2010-10-11 9:30]

Splendid photo, interesting Plant, TFS!

Ciao Catherine. Two litlle jewels here. Excellent DOF and bright colours. Special sharp! Wonderful


hello Catherine
beautiful picture,s with great details and good sharpness
\very nice to see the flower,s and the berries with beautiful colours
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2010-10-11 13:45]

Hello Catherine,
A very nice collage.Impressive colors and great sharpness.Have a nice day.

Quite the duo with a most interesting story! I can appreciate the herbal value. In some ways they remind me of Oregon Grape...also an evergreen. Very good then Catherine!

Lovely shots of this beautiful shrub, Catherine!
like the wonderful flowers and fruit!
Very well presented and a lovely note!

Hi Catherine,
A nice capture of these fruits and flowers of Common Smilax. Good sharp details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Catherine,
Excellent composition of this flower-fruit pic.
TFS. Greetings, Ferran

Bonjour Catherine,
Très belle publication présentant deux aspects du même sujet sans tomber dans l'excès peut-être à cause d'un lien de couleur. Les compositions sont agréables et valorisent bien le(s) sujet(s).
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hola Catherine

dos bellas imagenes en una, perfecta composición, contrastes y perfecta nitidez. Colores y fondo muy bellos.

Un saludo de Antonio

Excelente documento, además de una gran calidad técnica y una acertada presentación.
Un abrazo Catherine.

nice botanical presentation, greetings Ori

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