A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants
Full to part sun; medium to moderately dry moisture level; prefers sandy or rocky soil but tolerates other types of soil; pH tolerant.
4-75 feet height (depending on support) x 4-8 feet width; greenish white flowers; blooms late spring to early summer; round, ½ inch wide, bluish-black fruit.
Growth Rate: Fast
Maintenance: Any pruning best done in winter when plants are dormant; otherwise they bleed profusely (however it is not fatal).
Native Region: Haywood County in Coastal Plain Province; common in the Interior Low Plateaus; and occurs in isolated counties in the Blue Ridge Province.
Climbs by tendrils and its flowers have a sweet musky fragrance. Many home orchard catalogs offer selections of this species. It is the primary ancestor of the slip-skin Concern, or ‘Labruscana’ varieties. Among wild grapes, it usually has better-tasting berries than most. Grapes (technically berries) have a strong, sweet taste but skin is thick and bitter, causing a person to spit out this part of the grape. Needs a warm, sunny location for fruit to ripen. Cultivars are available. Spreads by re-seeding itself and can be weedy. Dense leafy cover of the vines provides good nesting habitat for birds. Fruit attracts a wide variety of birds and mammals. Leaves are fed on by a wide variety of insects which in turn provide food for nesting birds to feed their babies.