Aug. 3, 2019

catbrier, Smilax glauca

Sometimes when I get close to one of our cats, a paw reaches out and I'm caught. I've got to figure this plant was named for its similar behavior. Get into a patch of these, and it will grab you - again and again. None the less, I keep looking for catbrier. This image taken about eight miles south of the Michigan border, but the species has not been found here. It would be fun to come up with the first Michigan record. The creepy roots of these send up wiry thorny stems that sometimes form large clones. This patch covered several acres. All the plants I checked were staminate, and I've never seen fruit, which leaves the impression the thicket could be all one tomcat. Catbrier, or cat greenbrier, occurs in AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV, and WY. Kitty Todd Preserve, Lucas Co OH, 6/13/16.