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Ampelopsis arborea

This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
Common Name(s):
Buckvine, Cow itch, Pepper vine
Categories:
Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Shrubs, Vines
Comment:

Ampelopsis arborea is a close cousin to grapes.  The desirable characteristics of its colorful berries, good ground coverage, trellis climbing ability, pest resistance and tolerance of adverse weather conditions are the same characteristics which often make it undesirable in cultivation. It will quickly overtake 'gardens' and kill out any desirable smaller plants that happen to be in its path. Peppervine produces an abundance of colorful berries, with each berry containing two to four seeds. The fruit is attractive food for birds and large mammals as a minor food, and for smaller mammals as a food lower on their choice of items. Wherever the feasting birds and mammals go, peppervine seeds go, too-the seeds are dispersed in their droppings, increasing the spread of this very vigorous plant.

The specific characteristics of this plant are a deciduous woody stalk and vine, with non adhesive tendrils that occur opposite and closely resemble native grapes. Newly emerged leaves are purple-red and change to a light green to dark green as they reach mature size.

Best fruiting in full sun; dark green leaves; prefers moist but well-drained soil; native vine; foliage turns red in fall; can become invasive

Regions:  Coastal plains

Seasons of Interest: 

        Leaf:  Fall                   Blooms:  Summer, late summer            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late summer

Wildlife Value:   Its fleshy fruits are eaten by songbirds and small mammals.  White-tailed deer browse the leaves and twigs as it has a low resitsance to damage by deer. 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: This plant is very invasive, its seeds being spread by birds and small mammals.

Fire Risk: This plant has an extreme flammablity rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home.  Select plants with a low fammability rating for the sites nearest your home.

This plant is often confused with: poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans).

 

Description:
Deciduous, climbing with few tendrils, trailing, or erect shrub; leaves alternate, simple or pinnately divided; berries dry or slightly fleshy, black, bluish, or greenish
Height:
20-35 ft.
Flower:
Peppervine has inconspicuous greenish white flowers opposite the leaves from June through August, and the berries appear from September into late fall. As a cluster of berries mature, their coloration gradually changes from green to white to red to shiny blue-black. Berries on a given cluster mature at different rates; thus, clusters will typically consist of differently colored berries.
Zones:
7-9
Habit:
Bushy
Texture:
Coarse
Form:
Vine
Exposure:
Sun to light shade; prefers moist but well-drained soil
Fruit:
Clusters of small berries that turn white to currant-red, then glossy blue-black
Family:
Vitaceae
Poison Part:
Berries
Poison Delivery Mode:
Ingestion
Symptoms:
Unknown; questionably poisonous, but use caution
Toxic Principle:
Unknown
Severity:
CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN
Found in:
Forest or natural area, as native vine in open woods; weedy in disturbed areas; landscape, as cultivated ornamental vine
Tags:
showy fruit, deciduous, vine, extreme flammability, fire

NCCES plant id: 440

Ampelopsis arborea Ampelopsis arborea
Ampelopsis arborea habit
Jason Sharp, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0
Ampelopsis arborea leaves & fruit
Mary Keim, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0