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Vitis aestivalis is often confused with:
Vitis vinifera Vitis vinifera
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Vitis rotundifolia Muscadine
Parthenocissus quinquefolia Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Vitis vulpina Vitis vulpina
Vitis aestivalis has some common insect problems:
Mealybugs

Summer Grape Vitis aestivalis

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
VEE-tiss ee-STIV-ah-liss
Description

Summer Grape is a woody deciduous vine in the grape family that is typically found in upland woodlands, thickets, rocky slopes, and forests. Var. aestivalis and var. bi color can also be found in the same wooded regions. Its height and width depend on whether it has the support it needs.   Under the right conditions, the trunk can reach widths of up to 6".  It will climb adjacent fences and other vegetation using twining tendrils.  Older branches have a gray to reddish brown bark that peels into long shredded strips, while young branches are light green, yellow green or reddish green and are not woody.

Blooming takes place in late spring to early summer and only lasts for a very short period of time, usually a week.  The female flowers are then replaced by berries that form on 3-8" panicles.  Each berry is 1/4-1/2" across.  The juicy berries contain 2 to 4 small seeds.  Their taste can be sweet to tart.  Exposure to sun will lead to the plant producing berries.  Intolerant of shade, they will not produce berries.

Although growing at its best in soil that contains loam, it will grow in clay if proper drainage is provided.  

The seed is readily spread by both game birds and songbirds, who eat the berries.  They are also consumed by black bear, coyote, fox, squirrels, raccoons, opossum and skunk.  When the berries fall to the ground, they can be eaten by box turtle.  The tangle of vines also provides shelter and nesting spots for birds and small mammals.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Surrounding shrubs and small trees can be damaged or killed after being smothered by this plant.  Provide proper space for best results.

High maintenance can be an issue.  Pruning must be done to maintain the spread into unwanted areas.  It must be sprayed on a regular basis for diseases including black rot, downy mildew, powdery mildew, crown fall and botrytis bunch rot.  Insects that affect this plant are mealy bugs, flea beetles, leaf roller, leaf hopper, Japanese beetle, and grape berry moth.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#edible plant#partial sun#woody#spring flowers#fall interest#rabbit resistant#berries#moist soil#food source#NC native#vines#summer flowers#full sunlight#deer resistant#woody vine#black berries#purple berries#forests#edible fruits#fall fruits#sunshine#summer interest#deciduous vine#spring interest#native vine#pollinator plant#black fruits#berry#vertical spaces#edible#purple fruits#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#flowering vine#fruits#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#vine#insects#Piedmont Mountains FACU#Coastal FACU#fruits early fall#fruit#songbirds#audubon#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vitis
    Species:
    aestivalis
    Family:
    Vitaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Leaf Cutting
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, Northern Africa
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds, mammals, and insects enjoy the fruits as a food source. Bumblebees cross-pollinate the flowers. Pollinators enjoy the nectar from the flowers.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Nesting
    Climbing Method:
    Tendrils
    Edibility:
    The sweet to tart berries are edible.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 25 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Fine
    Appendage:
    Tendrils
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    In North Carolina, the fruits are available from September to October. The fruits are dark purple to black.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Panicles of blooms are 2-5" long. Individual flowers are no more than 1/8". North Carolina, flowers are available from May to June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Orbicular
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The oval to orbicular leaves range from 3" to 8" across and wide. The upper surface is a dull medium green and may be slightly hairy. The lower leaf is more of a pale green and has woolly hair that can be white to a light brown. The petioles are 3-6" long and hairy.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Red/Burgundy
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Multi stemmed. The gray to reddish brown bark peels into long shredded strips on older vines.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Rock Wall
    Vertical Spaces
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems
    Frequent Insect Problems
    Messy