The forests throughout most of the state have a luxuriant undergrowth consisting of a great variety of shrubs, flowering plants, grasses, ferns and mosses, and the display of magnolias, azaleas, kalmias, golden rod, asters, jessamines, smilax, ferns and mosses is often one of unusual beauty.
Smilax is a characteristic tropical genus containing about 200 species; the dried roots of some species are the drug sarsaparilla.
The great mass of the vegetation, however, is of the low-growing type (maquis or garrigue of the western Mediterranean), with small and stiff leaves, and frequently thorny and aromatic, as for example the ilex (Quercus coccifera), Smilax, Cistus, Lentiscus, Calycotome, &c. (2) Next comes, from 1600 to 6500 ft., the mountain region, which may also be called the forest region, still exhibiting sparse woods and isolated trees wherever shelter, moisture and the inhabitants have permitted their growth.
The natural and forest products of Mexico include the agave and yucca (ixtle) fibres already mentioned; the " ceibon " fibre derived from the silk-cotton tree (Bombax pentandria); rubber and vanilla in addition to the cultivated products; palm oil; castor beans; ginger; chicle, the gum extracted from the " chico-zapote " tree (Achras sapota); logwood and other dye-woods; mahogany, rosewood, ebony, cedar and other valuable woods; " cascalote " or divi-divi; jalap root (Ipomaea); sarsaparilla (Smilax); nuts and fruits.
Some plants, which in most points of their structure are monocotyledonous, yet have reticulated venation; as in Smilax and Dioscorea.
19), or may be cirrose, as in Smilax, where each stipule is represented by a tendril.
In Smilax, there are two stipulary tendrils.
SARSAPARILLA, a popular drug, prepared from the long fibrous roots of several species of the genus Smilax, indigenous to Central America, and extending from the southern and western coasts of Mexico to Peru.
These are Smilax officinalis and S.
Sometimes there is attached to the rootstock a portion of stem, which is round and not prickly, differing in these respects from that of Smilax officinalis, which is square and prickly.
It is collected on the eastern slope of the Mexican Andes throughout the year, and is the produce of Smilax medica.
In several species of Smilax the roots become thickened here and there into large tuberous swellings 4 to 6 in.
Smilax, clematis, honeysuckle and woodbine are the commoner forest vines.