The Japanese greenbrier (Smilax nipponica) belongs to Smilacaceae (the Catbrier family). It is a perennial herb that is native to Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu in Japan, as well as the Korean Peninsula, Taiwan and China. This herb grows in mountains and fields. The stem is erect at first and entwines itself around adjascent vegetations later. The leaves are broad elliptic to oblong, alternate and tinged powdery white at the underside. The umbels are borne at the axils and the pale yellowish green flowers bloom from May to June. The fruits are berries and ripen black in fall. The young shoot is used as a wild vegetable same as the "Shiode" (Smilax riparia var. ussuriensis). In Taiwanese Chinese, it is "日本菝契", and in Chinese, it is "白背牛尾菜" (bai bei niu wei cai).