Porcelain-berry is a deciduous, woody, perennial vine. It twines with the help of non-adhesive tendrils that occur opposite the leaves and closely resembles native grapes in the genus Vitis. The stem pith of porcelain-berry is white (grape is brown) and continuous across the nodes (grape is not), the bark has lenticels (grape does not), and the bark does not peel (grape bark peels or shreds). The Ieaves are alternate, broadly ovate with a heart-shaped base, palmately 3-5 lobed or more deeply dissected, and have coarsely toothed margins. The inconspicuous, greenish-white flowers with "free" petals occur in cymes opposite the leaves from June through August (in contrast to grape species that have flowers with petals that touch at tips and occur in panicles. The fruits appear in September-October and are colorful, changing from pale lilac, to green, to a bright blue. Porcelain-berry is often confused with species of grape (Vitis) and may be confused with several native species of Ampelopsis -- Ampelopsis arborea and Ampelopsis cordata.
Porcelain-berry is a vigorous invader of open and wooded habitats. It grows and spreads quickly in areas with high to moderate light. As it spreads, it climbs over shrubs and other vegetation, shading out native plants and consuming habitat.
How You Can Help:
Porcelainberry occurs in one of our "hotspots" at the Glendening Preserve's Plummer House. Volunteers can check on the site during the growing season to look for new growth and remove it.
For full species information visit the Plant Conservation Alliance's LEAST WANTED page.