One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A green-stemmed North American vine of the lily family, typically prickly and with blue-black berries.
Genus Smilax, family Liliaceae: several species, in particular the woody and thorny S. rotundifoliaAlso called catbrier
- ‘The undergrowth is often dense with dwarf palmettos and with such vines as earleaf, saw greenbriers (both very prickly), muscadine, and summer grape, all tough on hikers.’
- ‘The removal of understory vegetation, such as greenbrier, would aid in the movement and predator vigilance of the Delmarva fox squirrel.’
- ‘Because the canopy is relatively open here, the vegetation is often overgrown with rattan vine, greenbrier, wild grape, pepper vine, trumpet creeper, Virginia creeper, and poison ivy.’
- ‘Common midstory and understory species included red maple, American beech, greenbrier, and spicebush.’
- ‘Orange-blossom was another favourite, often wired on to garlands of greenbrier (Smilax sp.) and pinned to the wedding dress in tiers.’
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