Wild Grapes


(Vi­tis ri­paria)


Poi­sonous Vir­ginia Creeper

(Partheno­cis­sus quin­que­fo­lia)

“This is my fa­vorite deadly dop­pel­gänger com­par­i­son be­cause ev­ery­one seems to want to eat any­thing that re­sem­bles a grape or berry,” Lee said. “When in sea­son, wild grapes pro­vide a tremen­dous amount of nu­tri­tion with their fruit, leaves, and even new shoots be­ing edi­ble, but keep in mind that the roots are poi­sonous. Wild grapes also pro­vide a great source of potable wa­ter through cut­ting their vines. Cut high first, then low, to max­i­mize the amount of wa­ter yielded per vine.”

Tell Them Apart: Wild grape ten­drils are more con­spic­u­ous and grow in branches, as op­posed to Vir­ginia Creeper, which ad­here us­ing ter­mi­nal pads. Also, Vir­ginia Creeper leaves are com­pound leaves, mean­ing that they con­sist of sev­eral leaflets joined to a sin­gle stem. Wild grape leaves just have one leaf at­tached to each stem.

Wild Grapes Range: Eastern Half of Canada and through­out the United States, ex­clud­ing the far South­west and South­east U.S. Photo by Bill Sum­mers, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database Photo by James H. Miller, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS...

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