river grape
Vitis riparia Michx.
  • LEAVES:  deciduous, simple, alternate, cordate, three-shouldered to shallowly three-lobed, the lobes acuminate; margins have coarse teeth and are usually ciliate
  • FLOWER:  drooping panicles to 5 inches long, flowering in spring
  • FRUIT:  berries black, glaucous, globose, 0.3-0.5” broad; skin separates from pulp; maturing July-August
  • TWIGS:   pith brown, not continuous through nodes; nodal diaphragm less than 1 mm thick; growing shoot tips enveloped by developing leaves
  • BARK:  exfoliates in shreds; lenticels absent; stems reddish
  • FORM:  high climbing woody vine, sometimes sprawling, sparsely branched; tendrils only present at two consecutive nodes, tendrils branched
  • HABITAT:  riparian forests along large or small rivers and streams; dunes in Great Lakes region
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION:  Facultative Wetland (FACW): Usually occurs in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE:  widespread in eastern North America [MAP]
  • USES:  edible fruit
  • valuable whitetail deer browse; moderate amount of song birds consume the fruit
  • Brief Recognition Features:
    1. high climbing woody vine, sparsely branched; tendrils branched
    2. brown pith, interrupted at nodes, nodal diaphragms less than 1 mm thick
    3. found along riverbanks or low-lying rich forests
    4. leaves usually shallowly three-lobed, with acuminate tips, and coarsely dentate margins
    5. small (<0.5”) black, glaucous berries