Vitis riparia

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Common Name: Riverbank Grape

Full sun to shade; wet to dry moisture level; prefers rich soil but tolerates coarse sands and gravels, sandy loams to fine silt loams, heavy silts, silty clay loam and stiff clays; prefers slightly acid to neutral pH but tolerates alkaline.

35 feet or more in height; blooms in May and June; yellow green flowers; blue-black fruit in late summer.

Growth Rate:  Very fast

Maintenance:  Infrequent disease and insect problems.  Any pruning best done in winter when plants are dormant; otherwise they bleed profusely (however it is not fatal).

Propagation:  Seed germination code  C(60-120) at 41 degrees F.  41%-96% germination in 13-16 days.  If seed is sown outside, can sometimes take 12 months to germinate.  Can also be propagated by cuttings of mature wood from the current season’s growth.

Native Region:  Occurs in only 10 counties, limited to the Coastal Plain, Highland Rim, and Central Basin provinces

High-climbing vine that drapes over trees with long, leggy stems.   Brownish-red exfoliating bark.  Very fragrant flowers and clusters of of bluish-black grapes (technically berries) are the plant’s showy characteristics.  Requires warm, sunny location for good berry production.  Very tolerant of flooding and sometimes occurs in wetlands.  Long-lived.  Can be weedy.  Fruit is a favorite food of songbirds, upland game birds, waterfowl and mammals.

Riverbank Grape - Vitis riparia 6
Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia
Riverbank Grape - Vitis riparia 5
Photo Courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Riverbank Grape - Vitis riparia 2
Photo Courtesy of John Hilty
Riverbank Grape - Vitis riparia 4
Photo Courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Riverbank Grape - Vitis riparia 3
Photo Courtesy of John Hilty