En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - August 19, 2010

From: Dunnellon, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Peppervine fruit in wild grapes for jelly from Dunnellon FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We picked some wild grapes for making jelly. We have about 8 cups of juice. We think about 4 or 5 berries from the Peppervine might have gotten in with the wild grapes. Is this enough to make the jelly editable. Should we throw it out.

ANSWER:

Ampelopsis arborea (peppervine) is a member of the Vitaceae or grape family. We could find no indication that it is poisonous; the page on it in our Native Plant Database says:

"Fruit fleshy, up to 5/8 inch in diameter, black and shiny when ripe, inedible."

But, in the forum Dave's Garden on peppervine, we found one comment (the last one) as follows: 

"I ate a lot of the berries this summer. They are related to grapes, and are sweet with a slight black pepper taste. Still a very beautiful plant.
Wildlife like birds, raccoons and so forth are very fond of these. They eat most before I get a chance."

Since you have already reduced the fruits to juice, you might try taking a cautious taste of it to see if the few peppervine berries have influenced the taste, and make your decision. You know you're going to have to add a lot of sugar and pectin to the juice anyway, since you are dealing with wild grapes, so the taste, if there is any, will probably not affect your jelly at all. However, if it will make you feel any better, we found a Florida Plants Online website on Poisonous Plants, including one list specifically of poisonous plants of Florida.  You can give that a look, and if neither the scientific name nor the common name appear, we think your jelly is safe.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ampelopsis arborea

Ampelopsis arborea

Ampelopsis arborea

Ampelopsis arborea

 

 

 

 


 

More Vines Questions

Identification of possible Hairy Cluster Vine or Clematis
May 28, 2007 - I found a small twining vine with purple to lavender, tubular flowers hanging on one side of the stem. The leaves are very narrow and alternate about 3/4"-1" long. I found them on the side of the ...
view the full question and answer

Care for cultivar of native Bignonia capreolata
February 05, 2008 - I planted Dragon Lady Cross Vines at the end of the fall last year. When would be the best time to trim them. I live in the Dallas area. They look kind of beat up right now and I thought if I trimmed...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting honeysuckle
September 02, 2006 - How do I transplant Honeysuckle?
view the full question and answer

Identity of invasive vine in The Woodlands, Texas
December 02, 2013 - What is the invasive vine covering trees in The Woodlands, Texas?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on teddy bear vine
April 13, 2005 - I am looking for a plant called teddy bear vine. The scientific name is Cyanotis kewensis. I had one a long time ago (20+ years) and I loved it, but I can't find another one or find out whe...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center