Smilax australis R.Br.

Sweet Sarsaparilla

Prodr. 293 (1810) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Stout, multistemmed vine or creeper to c. 7 m high. Leaves ovate to broadly elliptic, 5–15 cm long, 3–10 cm wide. Inflorescence umbellate, simple or branched, many-flowered; perianth segments spreading, oblong, 3–5 mm long, white to cream, sometimes reddish in bud; stamens 6–7 mm long; ovary 3–4 mm long. Berry ovoid, 6–10 mm diam., black; seeds 1–2, globose or flattened on inner face, 4–5 mm long. Flowers Sep.–Dec.

EGL, EGU, GipP, HFE, HSF, MonT. Also NT, Qld, NSW. Occurring in sheltered lowland sites from the vicinity of the Mitchell River eastwards. Commonly associated with warm-temperate rainforest, particularly at the margins or in canopy breaks, also in moist eucalypt forests and occasionally in elevated rocky areas. Occasionally cultivated.

Source: Conran, J.G. (1994). Smilacaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2017-05-31
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Liliales
family Smilacaceae
genus Smilax L.
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Smilax australis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Smilax australis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Gippsland Plain present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
New South Wales