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Vitis aestivalis

Vitis aestivalis Michx.

 

Summer Grape, Grape

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderRhamnalesBuckthorns, oleasters, grapes, others
FamilyVitaceaeGrape family
GenusVitisLatin for “the vine”
SpeciesaestivalisLatin for "of summer" (from Stearn's Botanical Latin)

About plant names...

Summer grapes are robust eastern North American native plants.

Identification: Summer grapes are vines that clamber over other plants, attaching themselves with tendrils that wind themselves into coiled springs. Vines become woody, and can reach 70' (21 m) in length and 5" (12 cm) in diameter. Leaves are alternate, and 3-8" (7.6-20 cm) in size, and highly variable in shape. They are roughly oval, often with three to five lobes. Leaf undersides are glaucous. The inner vertices of deeply lobed leaves are rounded rather than sharp. Leaf stems (called petioles) are 3-5” long. Flowers occur in dense greenish panicles that look a little like fuzzy versions of the grapes to come, appearing Apr-Jun. Fruits are dark blue to black, somewhat glaucous, ¼-¾" (8-20 mm) wide, in large clusters.

 

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/1/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

9/11/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 19 × 14" (48 × 36 cm) ID is uncertain

Similar species:

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Vitis aestivalis

Vitis cinerea var. floridana
Common Name

Summer Grape

Simpson’s Grape
Plant Vines become woody, and can reach 70' (21 m) in length and 5" (12 cm) in diameter. Vine branchlets are angled.
Flowers Dense greenish panicles, appearing Apr-Jun. Flowering occurs in May-Jun. Flowers are in clusters 4-10" (10-25 cm) in size.
Leaves Alternate, 3-8" (7.6-20 cm) in size, and highly variable in shape. Leaf undersides are glaucous. Leaf stems (petioles) are 3-5” long. Leaf blades 2-8" (6-20 cm) in size, on petioles of roughly equal length. Leaf undersides are not glaucous.
Fruit Dark blue to black, somewhat glaucous, ¼-¾" (8-20 mm) wide, in large clusters. Grapes are not usually glaucous, ⅛-¼" (4-8 mm) wide, and black.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Drier areas. Damp areas.
Type Wild Wild

 

Edibility: Edible, but not especially tasty: they vary from sweet to tart, and contain up to four small, hard seeds. They are sometimes used for jams or pies. Their flavor is said to improve after a frost. These grapes can be used to make wine, but are not widely favored for that purpose.

Online References:

Vitus aestivalis var. bicolor on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Vitis aestivalis on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Vitis aestivalis on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Vitis aestivalis at Illinois Wildflowers

Vitis aestivalis at the Island Creek Elementary School's Study of Northern Virginia Ecology

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/1/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

8/7/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/18/2015 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 15 × 10" (37 × 25 cm)

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

2/7/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

9/13/2015 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (11 × 17 cm)

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

10/23/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 28 × 19" (71 × 47 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/18/2015 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (20 × 13 cm)

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/30/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/3/2016 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/30/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

4/29/2015 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

4/11/2015 · Big Cypress Bend, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, FL
≈ 8 × 5" (20 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

4/11/2015 · Big Cypress Bend, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, FL
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

10/23/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

7/11/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 19 × 12" (47 × 31 cm)

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

4/29/2015 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH
≈ 3½ × 5" (8.7 × 13 cm)

Vitis aestivalis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 14 Jun 2017.

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Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

9/13/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 10 × 15" (26 × 39 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

10/23/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/18/2015 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/3/2016 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

8/7/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

8/26/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 14 × 21" (34 × 52 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

9/13/2015 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 7" (13 × 17 cm)

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/30/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/18/2015 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 10" (16 × 25 cm)

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

2/23/2011
≈ 7 × 5" (17 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/30/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (14 × 22 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

10/23/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Vitis aestivalis (Summer Grape, Grape)

6/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 2½' (1.2 × 0.8 m) ID is uncertain

Range:

About this map...