University of Missouri Extension

MP903, New May 2008

Quail-Friendly Plants of the Midwest

Greenbrier

Woody

Escape coverFood

Dense tangles of greenbrier provide good escape cover Dense tangles of greenbrier provide good escape cover for bobwhites and nesting habitat for many other species.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation
 

Tendrils are specialized structures that aid vines in climbing

Tendrils are specialized structures that aid vines in climbing. Upon contact with branches, tendrils will curl around the twig, as seen here. Vines such as greenbrier are important components of bobwhite habitat. By forming dense tangles or covering downed trees and brush piles, they provide excellent thermal and escape cover.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation

Greenbrier fruits

Greenbrier fruits are about the size of a pea and black or bluish black when mature. The fruits seen here are not yet ripe.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation

Stems are green and covered with prickles

Greenbrier is aptly named. Stems are green and covered with prickles, many more than 3/8 inch long.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation

Description

Greenbriers are numerous and widely encountered throughout the Midwest, occurring in low woods in valleys and thickets, along stream banks, on rich wooded slopes, and along roadsides and fencerows. They grow as stout vines, climbing with the aid of tendrils that arise in pairs at the base of leaf stalks. The flowers are small and green and grow in clusters of 5 to 26 flowers on long stalks. Fruits ripen in early fall. Stems are often densely covered with black thorns that can be up to 1/2 inch long.

Use by bobwhites

Bobwhites readily eat the seeds of greenbrier. In its sprawling habit, bristly greenbrier forms an impenetrable mass of branches that provide good escape cover.
 

 

MP903 Quail-Friendly Plants of the Midwest | University of Missouri Extension

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