Smilax excelsa L.


EN B 1 ab(i,ii,iii,v) + 2 ab(i,ii,iii,v)

Category. Endangered species. It occurs in one floristic region. The extent of occurrence and the area of occupancy are less than 500 km2. The species grows in the forest belt which is subjected to a perceptible anthropogenic influence. In the first edition of the Red Data Book of Armenia it was included under Category 4: Indefinite species. It is not included in the Annexes of CITES and that of the Bern Convention.

Description. Climbing dioecious shrub with glabrous spiny stems. Rhizome long, firm, creeping. Leaves alternate, broadly ovate, at apex acuminate; venation reticulate; petioles 1–1,5 cm long, with 2 curled tendrils at base. Flowers greenish, 5–7 mm long, in cymes by 4–10. Bacca red, globular.

Distribution. In Armenia it occurs only in Idjevan (Ayrum, Noyemberyan, Berd, Idjevan, Aygehovit, Akhtala) floristic region. EOO is 360 km2, AOO is 20 km2, the number of locations is 5. Besides Armenia the general area of distribution includes Ciscaucasia, Dagestan, West, South–West, Central, East Transcaucasia, the Mediterranean Sea basin, Crimea, Anatolia, Syria and North Iran.

Ecological, biological and phytocoenological peculiarities. Grows in lower mountain belt, at the altitudes of 500–1000 meters above sea level, in humid forests, along rivers. Flowering in June, fruiting from July to August.

Limiting factors. Restricted extent of occurrence and area of occupancy.

Conservation actions. No conservation actions. Necessary: monitoring of the population state.


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Tamanyan K.G., 2001; Mordak E.V., 2006

Compiler. K.G. Tamanyan