High-climbing woody vine. Young branches green or red-brown. Tendrils branched. Leaves cordate-ovate, acuminate, mostly glabrous, 7-15 cm (2.8-6 in) long and about as wide, with usually two lobes 1-4.5 cm (0.4-1.8 in) long; leaves of vegetative branches sometimes palmately lobed. Inflorescence a dense compound panicle 4-12 cm (1.6-4.7 in) long, flowering in late Spring. Fruits black or purple, 7-11 mm (0.3-0.4 in) in diameter, ripening in late Summer.
Distribution: Native to southeastern Canada and much of the eastern half of the U. S.
Habitat: Floodplain forests, streambanks, fencerows.
NWI status: FAC
Comment: The fruits vary widely in taste and juice content, but are often used to make wild grape jelly. Many species of wildlife eat the fruits. Vitis is the old Latin name for grape; riparia refers to the streambank habitat where it is often found.
Distribution in Oklahoma:
RETURN TO INDEX
Last update: 9/22/99
Go to Oklahoma Biological Survey Home Page