Smilax herbacea
Smooth carrion-flower
Image of Smilax herbacea

Photo by Kenneth J. Sytsma 

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Key Characteristics

Tall herbaceous annual vine (2 m) of moist forests; stems not prickly, climbing with numerous tendrils; leaves ovate, without hairs underneath; flowers greenish, borne in round clusters.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S3
  • Global Rank: G5

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Kalamazoo31953
Oakland11927
St. Joseph11979
Wayne11896
Distribution map for Smilax herbacea

Updated 7/21/2017. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

Smooth carrion-flower is known from low forests, thickets, and wooded banks.

Natural Community Types

Methodology

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

No data are available concerning associates in Michigan.

Management

The primary need for this species is a status survey. Many reports of this species are the result of misidentification of S. lasioneura. Where smooth carrion-flower does occur, it likely benefits from maintenance of the hydrology and periodic flooding regime as well as protection of the forest canopy.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Aug 21, 2017]

References

Survey References

Technical References

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