Summer Grape, Vitis aestivalis
Vitaceae or Grape Family


High-climibing woody vine, often becoming quite thick at the base of the stem. Leaves heart-shaped, coarsely toothed, sometimes deeply 3- or 5-lobed. Opposite each leaf is a tendril that wraps around other plants and helps the vine climb. Flowers are minute, greenish, in clusters along the stem, borne in late spring to early summer. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. Female flowers are vase-shaped with a ring of short, sterile male anthers. Male flowers have only anthers, but they are long-stalked and produce fertile pollen. Fruits are small, blue-violet, edible berries (grapes), but the plants in Wildwood seem to rarely, if ever, fruit.

Native woodland vine. Occasional in Wildwood, climbing into the trees.

The leaves, tendrils and fruits are distinctive of grapes, but different grape species are hard to tell apart. Only this species has been reported in the Park. The related Virginia Creeper also has grape-like berrries and climbs high into trees, but its leaves are divided into 5 leaflets.

Female flowers


Closeup of female flowers
Male flowers


Closeup of male flower

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