Wild Grape Vine
Wild Grape Vine
Wild grape vine, like most vines, don’t have a trunk. If not regularly maintained it can spread out and quickly overtake other plants. Despite also being called the riverbank grape, it can grow in other locations including along roads, fences, and the woods. Dozens of wild grape species are found naturally worldwide. All species of wild grape vines return every year. Compared to other vines that are native to the United States, wild grapes vines are broader and grow taller than others. Leaves and tendrils grow beside each other but on opposite sides of the stem. Tendrils are small twisted branches that reach out and wrap around limbs to hold the vine in place. Wild grape leaves are very similar to commercially grown grapes. Wild grapes form in triangular shaped bunches. They can range from black to purple and anywhere in between. Clusters of small, white flowers can be almost 4 inches long. The flowers are both male and female and insects are important to help pollinate them to bear fruits. The early summer flowers will give way to grapes that are small, hard and green. The fruit will reach its maturity during the late summer months. Heart shaped leaves alternate along the stem. They are pointed at the end and have saw-toothed edges. Fruits are edible, but some people believe that the first frost enhances the grapes’ taste. The wild grapes’ small size is perfect for snacking. They can be frozen for later or even squeezed to make fresh grape juice. Even the leaves can be eaten and taste very similar to the grape itself.