This taxon has sometimes been spelled Smilax glycophylla[
]. The authorship is sometimes attributed to J.White.
Common Name: Sweet Sarsparilla
Smilax glyciphylla is an unarmed, evergreen climbing shrub producing a clump of stems from a tuberous rootstock. The stems can be 5 metres or more long, they climb into the surrounding vegetation, attaching themselves by means of tendrils[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. The plant is sometimes cultivated[
]. This report does not make it clear if it is cultivated as an ornamental or medicinal plant.
Australia - eastern New South Wales, northern and eastern Queensland.
Valleys in humid positions along the coast[
]. Lowland, upland and mountain rain forest; at elevations up to 1,500 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Smilax glyciphylla is native to much of coastal eastern Australia from the tropics of northern Queensland to the warm temperate climate of eastern New South Wales. It is known to experience frost in parts of its range and is said to tolerate short periods with temperatures down to at least -7°c[
Succeeds in most soils in sun or semi-shade[
This species was one of the earliest medicinal plants to be used by Europeans in Australia, and its value as a tonic and a scurvy preventative was recorded in 1790[
A dioecious species - both male and female forms must be grown if fruit and seed are required.
The leaves are refreshing to chew[
The leaves are used as a tea substitute[
]. A drink that is both sweet and bitter at the same time[
A sugar substitute[
]. The part used is not specified.
The leaves are alterative, antiscorbutic, diuretic, pectoral, tonic[
]. They are applied topically to clear skin problems[
The leaves, combined with the black fruits, are considered to have blood cleansing and tonic actions. They are used to treat aches, pains, rheumatism, general sickness, coughs, colds, congestion, and scurvy[
Seed - sow in individual containers in a lightly shaded position. This species has a range from the temperate zone to the tropics - seed of species from cooler areas seem to require a period of cold stratification, some species taking 2 or more years to germinate[
]. We sow the seed of temperate species in a cold frame as soon as we receive it, and would sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if we could obtain it then[
]. The seed can be very slow to germinate.
Division as new growth begins[
]. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position until ready to plant out.
Cuttings of half-ripe shoots[
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