Dewberry vine is woody and grows stems that can reach 15 feet in length. Many of the vines snake along the ground while some flowering stems grow vertically up to a height of 4 feet. New stems feature green coloring and hairy prickles, and as they age, they become woody and brown. Young stems grow in dense shrubby places, but as they grow and climb, they become sturdier. Oval leaves, measuring 3 inches by 1 inch, grow along the stems in either three or five leaflet patterns.
White, wrinkly flowers bloom at the end of the young stems and measure about an inch at full bloom. The dewberry vine blooms mid to late spring for about one to two months. During this time, the flowers open with the sun and close at dark. The plant relies on a woody taproot, which reproduces by reseeding and replanting the tops of young stems. Grown natively in the dry, sandy savannas, wooded meadows or vacant fields, the dewberry vine thrives after the occasional wildfire.
The dewberry vine enjoys full to partial sun and relatively dry conditions but tolerates many different types of soil including loamy, clay, rock or sand. This slow-growing vine grows well in climate zones five to eight and reaches an average height of one foot and a width of one to three feet. In ideal conditions, the vine can reach more than six feet tall and five feet wide.
The flowers of the deciduous dewberry vine attract a wide variety of bees, butterflies, skippers, songbirds and game birds. The fruits of this plant are edible and used by some to treat ailments like nausea and diarrhea. Others have employed the roots of the dewberry vine to halt bleeding on wounds. The berries can be eaten raw, made into jams, used in pies or juiced as a natural dye. Gardeners may use the dewberry vine around trees to eliminate mowing chores in this hard-to-reach area as well as along the edges of woodlands.