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
Crooked Run Valley