- Agriculture, Forestry & Soils
- Field crops, grasses, plant fibers, spices, tree crops, herbs
Strausbaugh, Perry D. Department of Botany, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
Core, Earl L. Department of Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
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Any of various tropical American vines of the genus Smilax (family Smilacaceae), and the flavoring material obtained from the roots of these vines. The roots of at least four species of sarsaparilla are used to obtain the flavoring material: S. aristolochiaefolia (S. medica) of Mexico, S. officinalis of Honduras, S. papyracea of Brazil, and S. ornata of Jamaica. These tropical vines (see illustration) are found in dense, moist jungles. The flavoring is used mostly in combination with other aromatics, such as wintergreen. It is a popular flavor in medicines and soft drinks. See also: Liliales; Spice and flavoring
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