Plants and Animals
Smilax herbacea Smooth carrion-flower
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
US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable
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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.
Smooth carrion-flower is known from low forests, thickets, and wooded banks.
Natural Community Types
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.
No data are available concerning associates in Michigan.
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.
Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.
Survey Period: From first week of June to fourth week of September
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- Holmgren, N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the vascular plants of Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 937pp.
- Voss, E. G. 1985. Michigan Flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae-Cornaceae). Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 724pp.