Porcelain Berry

FAMILY: Vitaceae | GENUS: AMPELOPSIS brevipedunculata

TYPE
  • Vines / Ground Covers
  • Deciduous
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Full Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
  • Moderate Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9

Plant Details

This Asian native is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of ornamental vines. On the one hand, it produces an absolutely stunning display of colorful fruit: clusters of small, grapelike berries that change from greenish ivory to yellowish to metallic blue in late summer and fall, often with several colors present at the same time. On the other hand, it can be extremely invasive. Its rampant stems, clinging by tendrils, can easily grow 15 ft. in a year, and birds eat the fruit and spread the seeds all over. Plant it only where you can contain it; don't let it escape to woods or natural areas. Handsome, dark green leaves to 5 in. across turn red in fall; unfortunately, they are often damaged by Japanese beetles.

In the garden, give porcelain berry the strong support of an arbor, trellis, or wall. 'Elegans' has leaves variegated in white and pink; selection is less vigorous than the species and makes a splendid choice for a hanging basket or container.

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