Definition of smilax in English:



  • 1A widely distributed climbing shrub with hooks and tendrils. Several South American species yield sarsaparilla from their roots, and some are cultivated as ornamentals.

    • ‘Best live greens to use are cypress, assorted evergreens and variegated holly, rosemary, smilax, white pine, common boxwood, fresh moss, and Little Gem’ miniature magnolia.’
    • ‘A human path through the swamp is carved with a machete, although the resulting trail often seems like a feeble attempt at penetrating the hidden blackwater ponds and the massive jungles of titi, smilax, gallberry, cypress, and gum.’
  • 2A climbing asparagus, the decorative foliage of which is used by florists.


Late 16th century: via Latin from Greek, literally bindweed.