Catbrier (Family Smilacaceae)
Smilacaceae, the Greenbrier Family, is a family of flowering plants.
Up to some decades ago the genera now included in family Smilac-
aceae were often assigned to a more broadly defined family Liliaceae,
but for the past twenty to thirty years most botanists have accepted
Smilacaceae as a distinct family. Smilacaceae has been divided into
two genera - Heterosmilax and the larger Smilax (although more
recently Heterosmilax has been found to have arisen from within
the ranks for Smilax). Other classification approaches divide Smilac-
aceae into three genera - Heterosmilax, Pseudosmilax, and Smilax -
comprising approximately 370 species.
Widespread in tropical and subtropical regions of the Southern
Hemisphere, with a few extending into north temperate regions.
The roots of some species are used medicinally for the treatment of
rheumatism and from another species, the stimulant China root is
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