Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Monocotyledon Literature for Smilax melastomifolia
Wagner et al., 1990, 1999.
   Smilacaceae -- The Catbrier Family Bibliography
      Smilax melastomifolia

Common name(s): catbrier, greenbrier, aka`awa, hoi kuahiwi, pi`oi (Kaua`i), uhi, ulehihi
General Information
DistributionIn the Hawaiian Islands, endemic to Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Hawai`i.

Click here for detailed USGS map by Jonathan Price
Lianas with tuberous rhizomes; stems finely grooved, smooth or sparsely to densely prickly, the prickles short-conical.
Leaves coriaceous, glossy, variable in shape, usually cordate to broadly ovate, occasionally suborbicular or oblong-ovate to lanceolate, (5-)7-18 cm long, (3.3-)4-18.4 cm wide, with 5-17 principal nerves, these sometimes with prickles on lower surface, venation conspicuously reticulate, at least on lower surface, glabrous, margins entire, apex abruptly acuminate to cuspidate, rarely rounded or retuse, base cordate to occasionally subcordate, petioles twisted and usually strongly curved, 1.1-3 cm long, with a pair of tendrils arising ca. 3/4 from base, petiole slightly winged below tendrils.
Flowers ca. 10-20 per umbel, arising in the axils of the upper leaves, peduncles compressed, 14-30 mm long, each with an ovate bract 4-8 mm long, pedicels 6-15 mm long, each one with an ovate bracteole ca. 2 mm long at base; tepals pale green to greenish white, oblong-elliptic to oblong-oblanceolate, 8-12 mm long; staminate flowers with spreading tepals, stamens (6-)12-18(-20), slightly exceeding the tepals, anthers linear, becoming curved or twisted, rudimentary ovary absent; pistillate flowers with revolute tepals, staminodes 6, ovary 3-angled, ovules (1)2 per cell, pendulous.
Berries globose, ca. 10-12 mm in diameter.