With the warm very early spring weather, it's sprouting! The vine grows with the ominous spreading speed of a creature in a horror movie. It twins up trees. Curls around buildings. Crawls across the ground.
What is this frightening plant? It's Smilax rotundifolia or Common Woody Greenbriar or numerous other common names, some of them too nasty to write here.
The smilax is back! I need to get it out before it goes to seed.
Smilax is a vine that has both tendrils and thorns. It's the only vine to have that.
It is resistant against Round Up. If you want to use a commercial weed killer, various gardening sites recommend that you soak the leaves in the weed killer for several hours.
But I'm working on going organic. So I'm following the recommended removal practice, which is a cultural practice. This means I've been physically digging up the vine and its tubers. The tubers look like sweet potatoes to me. I have read that the young ones are good to eat and were a staple in the Native American diet. I tried it and wasn't in love with the bitter flavor.
I went through the yard and dug up as many of the tubers as I could. They can be stubborn buggers about coming out of the ground!
Vigilance is needed to keep it from coming back, which is why I'm back in the yard battling it. I'll also need to get it out of the neighbor's vacant lot before it comes crawling into my yard.
Wish me luck!