from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See catbrier.
  • n. A slender vine (Asparagus asparagoides) that has glossy foliage and is popular as a floral decoration.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any member of the Smilax genus of greenbriers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A genus of perennial climbing plants, usually with a prickly woody stem; green brier, or cat brier. The rootstocks of certain species are the source of the medicine called sarsaparilla.
  • n. A delicate trailing plant (Myrsiphyllum asparagoides) much used for decoration. It is a native of the Cape of Good Hope.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A genus of liliaceous plants, type of the tribe Smilaceæ.
  • n. A plant of the genus Smilax.
  • n. A delicate greenhouse vine from the Cape of Good Hope, best known as Myrsiphyllum aspa ragoides, now classed under Asparagus.
  • n. In entomology, a genus of coleopterous insects.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. sometimes placed in Smilacaceae
  • n. fragile twining plant of South Africa with bright green flattened stems and glossy foliage popular as a floral decoration


Latin smīlax, bindweed, from Greek.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the genus name. (Wiktionary)



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  • "Place a thick napkin on a platter, put the ice upon this, cover the dish with parsley or smilax, and garnish with lemon."
    —Susan Williams, Savory Suppers and Fashionable Feasts: Dining in Victorian America (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985), 234

    May 4, 2010