As I continue to free associate about words that, once common, may be vanishing or already gone, two were sufficiently obscure that I realized that I didn't know all that much about them. I was that much more surprised to discover, when I did my little bit of research, to discover that they are in fact practically the same thing.
Yes, it's true: sarsaparilla is smilax. Or vice versa. Whatever. In one form, it's a half-forgotten soft-drink and excellent word for Sylvester the Cat to use; in the other, it's a modest plant often used to decorate Old Tyme weddings.