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Florida's Vines

Page 3 of 5

On this page - Railroad Vine, Salt Marsh Morning-glory, American Groundnut, Laurel Greenbriar, Common Greenbrier, Saw greenbrier, Muscadine Grape, Calusa Grape

Railroad Vine - Ipomoea pes-caprae

Railroad vine Railroad vine leaf detail

Family - Convolvulaceae

Habitat - Coastal strand, Upper beach & dunes

Description - This native vine is common to the dunes of coastal South Florida. A pioneer dune plant, the Railroad vine produces long (75 ft.) runners with deep roots, colonizing and helping to stabilize the upper beach and dune against erosion. Leaves are simple, alternate, elliptical to nearly cordate with lobed bases & notched tips. Salt and drought tolerant.

Flower - Railroad vine flowers in summer and fall, has funnel shaped flowers that are pale lavender to purple with darker throats. Fruit is a rounded, 1/2 inch diameter pod.

Salt Marsh Morning-glory - Ipomoea sagittata

Glades Morning Glory (Ipomoea sagittata Poir) Glades Morning Glory (Ipomoea sagittata Poir) leaf

Family - Convolvulaceae

Habitat - Coastal Dunes, Salt Marsh, Freshwater Marsh, moist and seasonally inundated sites, on sandy soils containing some organic content.

Description - Native, twining herbaceous vine to about 5 feet in length, sometimes forming dense mats. Sagittate (arrowhead shaped) leaves with lanceolate basil lobes.  

Flower - Purple, funnel shaped, solitary or in groups of 2 or 3.

American Groundnut Vine - Apios americana

Image - American Groundnut (Apios americana) flower Image - American Groundnut (Apios americana) leaf Image - American Groundnut (Apios americana) vine

Family - Fabaceae

Habitat - Hammocks, Floodplains & thickets on wet soils

Description - Groundnut is a herbaceous perennial native Florida vine found throughout the state. A twining, climbing vine that reaches lengths over 10 feet. Leaves are pinnately compound with 5-7 leaflets. Reddish brown to maroon colored & fragrant flowers are produced on racemes from leaf axils in the summer and fall, followed by the pea like pods. Larval host plant for some butterflies.

Laurel Greenbriar - Smilax laurifolia

Laurel Greenbriar (Smilax laurifolia)

Family - Smilacaceae

Habitat - Pine Flatwoods, margins of ponds, lakes and creek banks, usually on moist sandy soils.

Description - Native, evergreen climbing vine with many small thorns on the stems. Leaves are simple, alternate, lanceolate with entire margins, mid-vein raised on lower leaf surfaces.

Flower - Clusters of pale greenish-white flowers followed by green berries that are shiny black when mature.

Common Greenbrier - Smilax auriculata

Family - Smilacaceae

Earleaf Greenbrier (Smilax auriculata) Greenbriar flowers

Habitat - Oak Scrub, Flatwoods, Coastal Strand, Hammocks

Description - Native evergreen vine, climbing by tendrils with somewhat sparse, small thorns on stem. Alternate leaves are primarily oblong, sometimes ovate to lanceolate, entire margins with veins on lower leaf surface raised.

Flower - Clusters of green to yellowish-green flowers, year-round in S. Florida. Fruit is a glaucous reddish berry that turns deep purple when mature.

Saw greenbrier - Smilax bona-nox

Saw greenbrier leaf (Smilax bona-nox) Saw greenbrier stem thorns (Smilax bona-nox)

Family - Smilacaceae

Habitat - Wet to dry Flatwoods, Hammocks, Scrub throughout the state.

Description - Florida native vine, distinguished from other Similax sp. by leaves having prominent prickles along margins. Leaves are variable in shape and may or may not have lighter yellowish splotches on surface. Stems to over 20 feet with numerous sharp thorns to 1/4 inch long.

Muscadine Grape - Vitis rotundifolia

Muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia)

Family - Vitaceae

Habitat - Dry to moist flatwoods, floodplains and bottomland forests.

Description - Native climbing vine to over 60 feet long. Leaves are alternate, simple, cordate with dentate margins. Can be distinguished from other native grapes by the un-branched tendrils with which it climbs.

Flower - 1 1/4 to 3 inch clusters of green flowers from spring to early summer. Fruit is a 3/8 inch or slightly larger berry, reddish to black.

Calusa Grape - Vitis shuttleworthii

Summer Grape (Vitis aestivalis)

Family - Vitaceae

Habitat - Moist Hammocks bottomland forests

Description - Native climbing vine with alternate simple leaves, occasionally with 3-5 lobes, margins entire or bluntly toothed. Lower surfaces of leaves are white to rusty brown pubescent.

Flower - Clusters of small greenish flowers, followed by deep red to purplish-black rounded berry.