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Smilax ornata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Smilacaceae
Genus: Smilax
Species: S. ornata
Binomial name
Smilax ornata
Lem.
Synonyms[2]
  • Smilax grandifolia Regel 1856, not Buckley 1843 nor Voigt 1845 nor Poepp. ex A. DC. 1878
  • Smilax ornata Hook. 1889 not Lem. 1865[1]
  • Smilax regelii Killip & C.V.Morton
  • Smilax utilis Hemsl. 1899, not C.H. Wright 1895

Smilax ornata is a perennial, trailing vine with prickly stems that is native to Mexico and Central America.[3] Common names include sarsaparilla (/ˌsæspəˈrɪlə/ or /ˌsɑːspəˈrɪlə/),[4] Honduran sarsaparilla,[4] and Jamaican sarsaparilla.[4] It is known in Spanish as zarzaparrilla, which is derived from the words zarza meaning "bramble" (from Basque sartzia "bramble"), and parrilla, meaning "little grape vine".[5][6][7][8][9]

Uses[edit]

Food[edit]

S. ornata is used as the basis for a soft drink frequently called sarsaparilla. It is also a primary ingredient in old fashioned-style root beer,[10] in conjunction with sassafras,[11] which was more widely available prior to studies of its potential health risks.[12]


Traditional medicine[edit]

S. ornata was considered by Native Americans to have medicinal properties, and was a popular European treatment for syphilis when it was introduced from the New World.[citation needed] From 1820 to 1910, it was registered in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia as a treatment for syphilis.[citation needed]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tropicos.org". Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  4. ^ a b c "Smilax regelii Killip & C. V. Morton". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
  5. ^ Sarsaparilla
  6. ^ Davidse, G. & al. (eds.) (1994). Flora Mesoamericana 6: 1-543. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F..
  7. ^ Balick, M.J., Nee, M.H. & Atha, D.E. (2000). Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Belize with Common Names an Uses: 1-246. New York Botanic Garden Press, New York.
  8. ^ Espejo Serena, A. & López-Ferrari, A.R. (2000). Las Monocotiledóneas Mexicanas una Sinopsis Florística 1(9-11): 1-337. Consejo Nacional de la Flora de México, México D.F..
  9. ^ Nelson Sutherland, C.H. (2008). Catálogo de las plantes vasculares de Honduras. Espermatofitas: 1-1576. SERNA/Guaymuras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
  10. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. "sarsaparilla (flavouring) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  11. ^ Era, P (1893). The era formulary: 5000 formulas for druggists. A collection of original and prize formulas, to which has been added a selection of formulas from standard authorities in the English, French and German ... D. O. Haynes & company. p. 400. ISBN 978-1-145-42702-0. 
  12. ^ Dietz, B; Bolton, Jl (Apr 2007). "Botanical Dietary Supplements Gone Bad". Chemical research in toxicology. 20 (4): 586–90. ISSN 0893-228X. PMC 2504026Freely accessible. PMID 17362034. doi:10.1021/tx7000527. 
  13. ^ "PlantNET – FloraOnline". Plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 

External links[edit]

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