As you know, I’ve been following the progress of my 6 Smilax plants for a few years now on the farm.  This was the very first year that I was able to identify the plant as it was growing in the spring and I’m just delighted.  I thought that what I was seeing was wild asparagus so I was very interested in that.  Soon it became apparent that it was not asparagus, even though it had certainly looked like it. I discovered online that Smilax, when it first appears in the spring, does indeed look  like wild asparagus. The tiny green flowers  smell like rotten meat; however the smell is not the least overwhelming. In fact, you have to get pretty close to the flowers to smell them.  But there you have it, the Carrion Flower! After the flowers fade, pale green balls of berries form. In the fall the berries turn navy blue. A fascinating plant!


Darienne McAuley,  Bland Line, Cavan

Note:  “Smilax herbacea is a vine with alternate, simple leaves, on climbing stems. The flowers are green, borne in spring. The plant at first looks like asparagus when it first sprouts out of the ground. The plant can grow over 8 feet tall without support, but will eventually fall over unless it successfully finds external support. As flowers start to develop, at first they look s

Smilax_flower_as_it_develops - Dstreng

Smilax flower as it develops – Dstreng

Smilax in fall - Darienne McAuley Sept. 13, 2014

Smilax in fall – Darienne McAuley Sept. 13, 2014

imilar to small broccoli florets on thin stems.” source: Wikipedia

Smilax - Darienne McAuley

Smilax – Darienne McAuley

Categories: Sightings

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.