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House with native plants and animalsGoing Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants
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Greenbrier (Smilax spp.)

Most Greenbrier, or Catbrier, vines are woody, but a few are herbaceous. Many are armed with thorns, and most climb via tendrils. In late spring, small, light yellow-green flowers are borne in small round clusters. The vine produces a dark blue to black berry that matures in fall.


Dense vine tangles provide nesting and hiding cover for birds and other wildlife. Fruits are eaten by songbirds, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, and quail. White-tailed deer browse the leaves and twigs, especially in the winter.

Plant Type Vine
Leaf Type Deciduous
Deer Resistance Moderate
Regions Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plain
Light Full Sun, Partial Sun/Shade
Soil Wet, Moist, Dry
Bloom Times Spring
Seed Times Fall
Wildlife Value Winter Cover, Fleshy Fruit
NC Forest ServiceNC Cooperative Extension