SMILAX ASPERA.--The Prickly Ivy. South Europe, 1648. A trailing-habited

shrub, with prickly stems, ovate, spiny-toothed, evergreen leaves, and

rather unattractive flowers. There are other hardy species from North

America, including S. Bona-nox (better known as S. tamnoides), S.

rotundifolia, and S. herbacea, the first being the most desirable. S.

aspera mauritanica is a hardy variety, but one that is rare in

cultivation, with long, wiry shoots, and well adapted for wall or

trellis covering. They all require favoured situations, else the growth

is short, and the plants stunted and meagre in appearance.