Appearance''Smilax aspera'' is a perennial, evergreen climber with a flexible and delicate stem, with sharp thorns. The climbing stem is 1–4 metres long. The leaves are 8–10 centimetres long, petiolated, alternate, tough and leathery, heart-shaped, with toothed and spiny margins. Also the midrib of the underside of the leaves are provided with spines. The flowers, very fragrant, are small, yellowish or greenish, gathered in axillary racemes. The flowering period in Mediterranean regions extends from September to November. The fruits are globose berries, gathered in clusters, which ripen in Autumn. They are initially red, later turn black. They have a diameter of 8–10 millimetres and contain one to three tiny and round seeds. Insipid are unpalatable to humans and are a source of nourishment for many species of birds.
DistributionIt is widespread in Central Africa , Mediterranean Europe , temperate Asia and tropical Asia . It is also naturalized in other regions.
HabitatIt grows in the woods and scrubs, at an altitude of 0–1,200 metres above sea level.
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