Common names: Catbrier Family
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 468. Mentioned on page 12, 13, 14, 17, 20.
Shrubs, herbs, or vines, perennial, rhizomatous. Stems erect or climbing, usually prickly, sometimes unarmed. Leaves opposite or alternate, prominently 3-veined, reticulate between veins, usually bearing tendrils, usually leathery. Inflorescences umbellate [or racemose or spicate]. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate on different plants; tepals 6, distinct, rarely united into perianth tube; stamens 2–3-whorled, anthers 1-locular; pistillate flowers bearing staminodes, pistil 3-carpellate; ovary 2-locular, 1–2 ovules per locule. Fruits baccate. Seeds 1–3.


Worldwide, mainly tropical to subtropical, a few temperate.


Genera 4(–12), species ca. 375 (1 genus, 20 species in the flora).

The leaves of Smilacaceae are atypical of monocotyledons in being reticulate between major veins. The family is closely related to and sometimes included in Liliaceae. It differs mainly in leaf characteristics and in being dioecious.

Lower Taxa

Facts about "Smilacaceae"
AuthorWalter C. Holmes +
AuthorityVentenat +
Common nameCatbrier Family +
DistributionWorldwide +, mainly tropical to subtropical + and a few temperate. +
Illustration copyrightFlora of North America Association +
IllustratorBarbara Alongi +
Referencearber1920a +, coker1944a +, duncan1975a +, fernald1944a +, judd1998a +, mangaly1968a +, morong1894a + and pennell1916b +
Source xml grained fna xml/V26/V26 978.xml +
Taxon familySmilacaceae +
Taxon nameSmilacaceae +
Taxon rankfamily +
VolumeVolume 26 +