Thanks, Bobby. I’m familiar with that weed. This one is different. No pubescence, fruit is small berry that matures red. Perennial but deciduous. Green stems are smooth (no thorns) and sometimes get a black mold. The root is the problem- very difficult to pull, long (travels for 10′), fleshy/woody, brown, straight. Not smilax. Inconspicuous greenish white flowers (uncommon).
Linda chafin from sbg says this… http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/shrub/coca.htm
Looks spot on! I’ve wondered for years. I know that without fruit and flower pics it’s difficult to tell. This matches my ovservations. Thanks!