Author Topic: Smilax root  (Read 9507 times)

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Offline pete28

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Smilax root
« on: March 16, 2015, 05:05:02 AM »
Ok, so. In my neck of the woods the smilax are going crazy! I love love love to eat the tips of them and can usually get a good amount throughout the next few weeks. But more on that in another thread if needed. Now back on point. Having so many smilax around I do have to remove some from the roots from the pasture area at my home to keep things tidy. When removing them I take the roots and all. Any one who has seen these roots knows they get incredibly large. So I got to thinking, is there a possibility that if those roots are dried you could carve them into different things? Perhaps even a pipe? I can't stress enough that I am beyond green when it comes to any type of wood working but I have a ready supply of these that I can use. Has anyone ever tried to do anything with these before? Would anyone like some sent to them to practice on? I'll handle shipping and everything if anyone is interested.

Pete
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2015, 09:12:39 AM »
You had me going to the USDA on that one.  :P     I'd never heard of it until seeing the word 'greenbrier' associated with it......is that the same thing you're talking about? :shrug:
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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2015, 11:13:24 AM »
We're still snow covered, and there are some more chilly days and nights to go. Greenbrier hasn't popped up yet. But I have to agree, it is delicious raw picked straight from the plant or added to salads :).
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Offline pete28

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2015, 01:38:49 PM »
You had me going to the USDA on that one.  :P     I'd never heard of it until seeing the word 'greenbrier' associated with it......is that the same thing you're talking about? :shrug:

you got the right one! It goes by more names than I can count.  Green briar, cat claw, bull thorn, the list goes on and on. I have at least 4 of the smilax species at my house. The tiny roots about thumb size are pretty good if cooked properly but I love the tips fried with garlic in coconut. I always have them come up every year. The roots are incredibly hardy and solid as a rock when completely dry. If ya want wolfy I can send you a root or two but you probably have some in the backyard. If so free food for you!
We're still snow covered, and there are some more chilly days and nights to go. Greenbrier hasn't popped up yet. But I have to agree, it is delicious raw picked straight from the plant or added to salads :).
lol my folks in ct are snowed in also but pretty soon they will pop up.
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Online madmax

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2015, 02:01:05 PM »
After your post Pete, I went and ate some in our backyard.  I'll have to try the roots soon.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2015, 04:16:40 PM »
No, but thank you for asking, pete......I've noticed that that stuff can be a nightmare in cropland fields.  It's listed on a few of the herbicide labels that I've had to use for problem species that are hard to kill.  I've had to battle way too many of those 'new' weeds in my lifetime, that all of a sudden come on the scene, but can remain to plague me for decades to come.  Besides, if the other farmers in my area learned that I imported something like that, I may end up getting lynched!  I have plenty of nice lambsquarter, burdock, plantain, dandelion, on and on, ad infinitum, to last me a lifetime without adding to my woes by importing others! :lol:
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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2015, 04:45:23 PM »
I like to walk the woods in mid-spring and simply eat the shoots raw.

They taste somewhat like a cross between green beans and cucumber, methinks.

I have heard they are the highest plant source of protein in the Northeast.

PMZ
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Offline Trekster

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2015, 04:46:27 PM »
I've always heard it called "greenbriar." But so many plants have so many different names it's hard to keep track in different regions haha.

PMZ
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2015, 05:26:00 PM »
I found this Q&A on smilax and it doesn't sound like anything I'll be planting anytime soon, but I have heard of it being a huge problem in some sections of Nebraska.  We need to go to a school every 5 years and be certified by the state & federal governments to use 'restricted' herbicides safely.  It takes some pretty stiff dosages of some of these 'restricted' herbicides to kill some of this crap that crops up suddenly and for unknown reasons, but I don't have any of it that's giving me fits right now and I don't want any, either. >:(


Question: I need to know how to get rid of a pesky pernicious green thorny vine. I am only one woman and I cannot snip or cut all these vines.
Answer: You must be a teacher. The word pernicious sent me to the dictionary. The definition is wicked, very injurious and tending to kill or hurt. This definition describes smilax (aka. greenbriar, catbrier) perfectly. My legs, arms, and face are often visual testimony to the damage this vine can inflict. I don?t think fighting a mountain lion could be any worse. If I know ahead of time that I have to work in greenbrier-infested woods, I forgo taking my aspirin regiment, wear briar chaps and take along a machete. This semi-evergreen vine often forms impregnable thickets. It is a difficult plant to kill, especially if this vine intertwines with your favorite shrubs. In those cases, clip the vine near ground level and wet the cut stem with a mixture of undiluted Roundup and a Brush control product that contains triclopyr.  Orthos Brush B Gon contains triclopyr. The combination of these two herbicides is the best I can offer. It will work but more than one treatment may be needed. You can spray a diluted spray of this mixture on the leaves of greenbrier in early summer. Repeated sprays will be needed. Patience and persistence is the key to your success.
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Offline pete28

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2015, 05:49:28 PM »
I believe my message came across wrong. I wasn't wanting to send roots for planting not in a million years as they
are impossible to eradicate.  I meant roots to carve lol. Sorry for the confusion. I'm may try grinding some up for flour but for the
time being I'll eat the tips and try to carve some roots
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Offline BigHat

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2015, 06:01:52 PM »
I think the leaves taste like green apples
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2015, 06:03:13 PM »
I believe my message came across wrong. I wasn't wanting to send roots for planting not in a million years as they
are impossible to eradicate.  I meant roots to carve lol. Sorry for the confusion. I'm may try grinding some up for flour but for the
time being I'll eat the tips and try to carve some roots

Wheeww.....what a relief! :doh: :banana:
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Offline pete28

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2015, 07:48:08 PM »
Lol wolfy you always make me laugh! I know a little bit about a few things but edible plants and certain medicinal's are my claim to fame. The offer still stands if anyone wants some roots to try to carve.
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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2015, 05:59:38 PM »
I've always heard it called "greenbriar." But so many plants have so many different names it's hard to keep track in different regions haha.

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Greenbrier, Catbrier, Carrion Flower... :)
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Offline Trekster

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2015, 06:07:18 PM »
I'm considering transplanting some from further back in my cousin's woods over to my campsite to make a "living fence" or "kraal" as they're called in South Africa.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2015, 06:16:48 PM »
GREAT idea! :doh:
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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2015, 06:30:13 PM »
lolol Wolfy. It grows and spreads all over here anyway. If it gets out of control, so much the better for keeping idiots out of my fenced off campsite. My grandpa and cousin don't turn anyone away (nobody at all) and it gets out of hand.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2015, 06:36:04 PM »
You start planting that crap intentionally and they'll be turning YOU away! :lol:
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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2015, 06:43:10 PM »
Haha maybe. I could always use the thornbushes that are already infesting that part of the woods. They're really covered in milions of tiny needle like thorns. Some sort of holly, maybe.
PMZ
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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2015, 05:51:48 AM »
lolol Wolfy. It grows and spreads all over here anyway. If it gets out of control, so much the better for keeping idiots out of my fenced off campsite. My grandpa and cousin don't turn anyone away (nobody at all) and it gets out of hand.
Better an indigenous plant than something horrid like Asiatic Bittersweet ;).
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2015, 07:38:51 AM »
You're right, of course......purple loosestrife is another invasive species that is giving us fits here in Nebraska.  It was sold as a perennial flowering plant for use in landscaping, went 'viral,' but is nearly impossible to kill.  We can't use some chemicals in waterways or within 200' of a stream, but that is where it grows in profusion and the chemicals that are capable of killing it are in that category.
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=lysa2


Tamarisk or saltcedar is another one that was sold as a landscaping plant, grows to 20+ feet in height in saline soils & along streams where it is difficult to get to and kill.  It is a massive problem in the Platte Valley here in Nebraska. 
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=TARA
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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2015, 09:48:34 AM »
You're right, of course......purple loosestrife is another invasive species that is giving us fits here in Nebraska.  It was sold as a perennial flowering plant for use in landscaping, went 'viral,' but is nearly impossible to kill.  We can't use some chemicals in waterways or within 200' of a stream, but that is where it grows in profusion and the chemicals that are capable of killing it are in that category.
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=lysa2


Tamarisk or saltcedar is another one that was sold as a landscaping plant, grows to 20+ feet in height in saline soils & along streams where it is difficult to get to and kill.  It is a massive problem in the Platte Valley here in Nebraska. 
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=TARA
We have Purple Loosestrife here as well, it's taken over many spots where Vervains once thrived :(. We also have tons of Autumn Olives...but I deal with them in the appropriate manner of eating them and enjoying their taste.


Fruit leathers, jams, pies, etc :D.


And this is what I do with Asiatic Bittersweet...muaha hahahahahaaaaaaa!  >:D
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2015, 10:52:52 AM »
No Autumn Olives here that I know of, but we do have Bittersweet.  Like you show in your photo, it adds good color to autumn wreathes and bouquets.   Heather asks me to bring some back with me, if I see some growing in the Fall.  She likes it when I bring her flowers and stuff like that from the woods, and why not....they don't cost nuthin' :shrug:   Sometimes it gets me hot, fresh cookies!  8)  >:D
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Offline Trekster

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2015, 03:27:25 PM »
I'm gonna collect Autumn Olive berries this year. They are rampant around here.

Japanese Knotweed is also all over the place but it rarely seems to get more than knee high.

Oh and of course Greenbriar.

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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2015, 10:18:24 AM »
No Autumn Olives here that I know of, but we do have Bittersweet.  Like you show in your photo, it adds good color to autumn wreathes and bouquets.   Heather asks me to bring some back with me, if I see some growing in the Fall.  She likes it when I bring her flowers and stuff like that from the woods, and why not....they don't cost nuthin' :shrug:   Sometimes it gets me hot, fresh cookies!  8)  >:D
Thanks, I used Bittersweet for the frame and yellow berries, Dog Rose hips, and some Japanese Barberry :). Aye, I can't understand why some people spend outrageous amounts of money on something they can make or collect their own.

I'm gonna collect Autumn Olive berries this year. They are rampant around here.
Be careful, their taste is addictive :D. Russian Olive is another good one, related to the Autumn Olive. More of a tree than a shrub, and the berries are green.
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Offline Trekster

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2015, 10:53:54 AM »
Can you just swallow the seeds in Autumn olive berries?

PMZ
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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2015, 04:08:54 PM »
Can you just swallow the seeds in Autumn olive berries?

PMZ
Oh yes...I deliberately save mine for fruit leathers. They are chewy from the raw fruit, but dehydrating them gives a most delicious nutty flavour and texture :).
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Offline pete28

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2015, 06:55:30 PM »
In reference to autumn olives are you referring to those of the silverthorn? If so I have always wanted to try them but silverthorn is invasive where I work so we kill em.
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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2015, 06:13:04 AM »
In reference to autumn olives are you referring to those of the silverthorn? If so I have always wanted to try them but silverthorn is invasive where I work so we kill em.
You mean Elaeagnus umbellata or E. angustifolia?
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Offline pete28

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2015, 04:27:48 AM »
Yes to both. I believe we have e. Pungens as well. My experience with the plant is limited but I really want to try them! That fruit leather looks incredible!
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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2015, 08:32:57 AM »
Yes to both. I believe we have e. Pungens as well. My experience with the plant is limited but I really want to try them! That fruit leather looks incredible!
Then you may find this useful :).
https://newenglandbushcraft.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/the-bountiful-autumn-olive/
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Offline pete28

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2015, 06:12:20 PM »
Very useful thank you! I just now saw that you are from Connecticut.  I was born and raised in the Middletown, higganum/haddam area. I'll be heading up that way in late summer this year and doing some foraging. I have a ton of great places on family land if your interested.  Its the only place I can get white birch bark!
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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2015, 05:50:33 AM »
Very useful thank you! I just now saw that you are from Connecticut.  I was born and raised in the Middletown, higganum/haddam area. I'll be heading up that way in late summer this year and doing some foraging. I have a ton of great places on family land if your interested.  Its the only place I can get white birch bark!
Middletown is about an hour from me...unfortunately, I can't drive LOL. I either walk or use pedal power.
Really? Dang, in my area I've got a TON of Sweet Birch, Golden Birch (Yellow Birch), and some Grey Birch here and there. No Paper Birch, though, unless I've been blind-sighted all these years lol.
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Offline pete28

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2015, 07:04:51 AM »
I may have sent a mixed message on the birch thing. I can get all types of birch in CT with the exception of the paper. Here where I am in Florida the only birch I have available to me is river birch/black birch. I usually come up to CT once a year to see family and gather some goodies. Well if you are ever interested I could swing down your way when I come up and do some exploring.
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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: Smilax root
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2015, 10:30:51 AM »
I may have sent a mixed message on the birch thing. I can get all types of birch in CT with the exception of the paper. Here where I am in Florida the only birch I have available to me is river birch/black birch. I usually come up to CT once a year to see family and gather some goodies. Well if you are ever interested I could swing down your way when I come up and do some exploring.
Aha....yeah, I can only get Paper Birch from my farmer friend in New Hampshire.
Sure thing :). I'll message you details when the times comes...
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