Plants sprawling or twining over shrubs and trees, to 20 m or more. Bark gray-brown, flaking; pith tan, becoming dark brown, continuous; young twigs pale brown and smooth, older stems to 4 cm diam. Leaves: petiole slender, 1-7 cm. Leaf blade ovate-elliptic to cordate, 2-13 × 1-8 cm (larger on vigorous shoots), thin, margins entire to remotely dentate, glabrous. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate on same plant; peduncle slender, 2.5-5 cm; outer tepals greenish white, inner tepals rose to red, broadly ovate, 3-9 × 2-5 mm. Staminate flowers: anthers embedded in sessile 5-sided disc. Pistillate flowers: pistils 6-12, reddish. Berries red, globose to ellipsoid, 4-8 × 5-15 mm; receptacle 4-7 cm. Seeds 1-3, red-brown, reniform, 4-4.5 × 5-5.5 mm, smooth to slightly rugose. 2n = 28.
Phenology: Flowering late spring–early summer.
Habitat: Mesic wooded bluffs, ravines, stream banks
Elevation: 0-500 m
Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., Ky., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Tenn.
Schisandra glabra was placed in Schisandra sect. Schisandra (as sect. Euschisandra, not valid) by A. C. Smith (1947); other species of the section are found in southern Japan, southern Korea, and eastern China.