RIVER-BANK GRAPE

Vitis riparia
GRAPE FAMILY (Vitaceae)

Description
This native woody vine climbs over shrubs and trees up to 80 feet high. Young branches are usually reddish. The tendrils are opposite on the stem to course-toothed leaves, which are about as wide as they are long (A). The elongated flower clusters (thyrse) (B) produce crowded bunches of purple grapes with a powdery, white “bloom” by late July (C). The bark of the mature vine has loose, ropy shreds (D). The similar Porcelain Berry (Ampelopsis cordata) blooms and climbs over the same hosts a little later in spring. It’s mature vine lacks the ropy shreds; its fruit is a cluster of orange-pink to turquoise-blue berries.

Occurrence
Grows on floodplain woodlands, near water. In Fontenelle Forest, common on Stream Trail. At Neale Woods, common around the CJIC.

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