It is a perennial, evergreen climber with a very flexible and delicate stem,. The plant body has sharp thorns. The climbing stem is 1–4 metres long. The strong and leathery heart –shaped leaves are 8–10 centimetres in length, petiolated, alternate, with toothed and spiny margins. Also the midrib of the underside of the leaves are provided with spines. The leaf form is cordate. The flowers, are small in size with a very pleasant smell, yellowish to greenish white in colour and arranged in axillary racemes. The flowering period in Mediterranean regions extends from September to November. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant).
The fruits are globular shaped berries, also arranged in clusters, and they become ripe in Autumn. They are initially red, but later turn black. They have a diameter of 8–10 mm and contain one to three tiny and round seeds. Insipid are unpalatable to humans and are a source of nourishment for many species of birds.
Other names: common smilax, rough bindweed, sarsaparille, greenbrier, prickly-ivy.
IUCN red list status: least concern
Local status: least concern