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Winter Interest

Riverbank Grape
Catalogue A# 0098-118 WF5
GPS 45D 43' 46" N / 108D 37' 24" W

Vitas riparia

Family: Vitaceae

Origin: North America, Native to Montana

Common name: River Bank Grape

Location: Tall fence west side of Wolf building

Number in accession: 2

Note: Origin from seed collected at Riverfront Park, Billings

Facts About
River grape grows on riverbanks and in many other habitats. Its almost hairless, lustrous green, coarsely-toothed leaves and few tendrils distinguish it from other grapes (Vitis). Although the fruits produced by this species tend to be sour to human tastes even when ripe, they do provide food for many species of birds. Many specialist insects feed on the leaves, stems, and roots.
Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), forest edges, forests, meadows and fields, shores of rivers or lakes
Native to Montana
  Growth form
the plant is a liana (i.e., a woody plant with a vine-like growth form)
Leaf type
the leaf blade is simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaves per node
there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
    •    the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    •    the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Leaf duration
the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
armature on plant
the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns
Leaf blade length
100–200 mm
Leaf blade width
70–150 mm
Leaf stalk
the leaves have leaf stalks
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is fleshy
Bark texture
the bark of an adult plant peels off easily or hangs off
Twig winter color
    •    brown
    •    gray
    •    green
Bud scale number
there are two scales on the winter bud, and their edges meetNative to Montana


Vitis riparia Michx, with common names riverbank grape or frost grape, is a native American climbing or trailing vine, widely distributed across central and eastern Canada and the central and northeastern parts of the United States, from Quebec to Texas, and eastern Montana to Nova Scotia. 

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