Rarity of plant - red Smilax leaf (Barcelona, España)

I have a question about a specimen of “Smilax aspera”

  • I do not open this post to request help in identification, I am sure of the correct classification (or so I think)

The problem:
It has a totally reddish coloration both on the limbus and on the nerves, both on the upper side and on the underside, including in certain parts of the petioles.
I have reviewed the Bonnier manual as well as many articles and I do not see any indication that Smilax aspera may have this coloration.

This specimen is located next to a 2300m3 artificial pond. (less than 10 meters from the water) In about 25m2 I have found two S. a. with the same coloration, separated from each other by about 5 meters, both on a Pinus trunk.

Climatological data with annual average:

  • Environmental temperature: -4 / 32ºC (currently, 3ºC (night) / 20ºC (day))
  • Precipitation: 617mm
  • Cloud cover: 38%
  • Water temperature: 17.5ºC (currently, 10ºC approx)
  • Sun: 12h
    • Height: Around 300 meters above sea level

Any environmental factor that may condition its coloration? Other known cases with this species?

Link: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/100617219

Hi @conandanco - I made the title of this topic a bit more specific. Feel free to adjust it!

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I took a look at the seasonality graph, and it seems that this species has just passed its peak. I would guess that it’s an annual, so once it has flowered and set fruit/seed its job is over and it starts to die.
Many plants turn red under stress, whether from cold or other factors, such as Toxicodendron radicans or Euphorbia maculata. So my guess is that it’s just dying.


It looks like a very young leaf. Perhaps it will darken as it matures?


According to all the descriptions in the key manuals that I have reviewed, there is not the slightest reference to that…

in my experience pretty much any plant can do this under some circumstances. I’d guess this is young growth though why that’s growing in fall I don’t know. It could be a new mutation though. Is it easy to propagate vegetatively? You could take a cutting if it’s legal to.


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