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

Growing kudzu in Las Vegas NV
April 18, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about a known invasive species that I know you advise against, but I feel my situation may be different enough that it's worth asking about. Yes, I'm talk...
view the full question and answer

American Bittersweet in east Texas
September 24, 2007 - Does American Bittersweet vine grow in east Texas? It grows wild in Indiana and want to find it in our new location, Longview, Texas
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine with thorns and blue berries.
April 22, 2008 - > Hello, > We have acreage in Butler County, PA. I recently discovered a vine that I can't identify. It's has many small spines all over the stem, then very large and stiff thorns. It has dark gr...
view the full question and answer

Blooming but not berrying American bittersweet from Pendleton IN
May 29, 2013 - I have had a bittersweet plant for years, it blooms but not berries. How do I tell if it is male or female so I can buy the opposite? It is currently blooming.
view the full question and answer

When to prune Texas Coral Honeysuckle in Iredell, TX?
January 31, 2012 - When can I prune Texas coral honeysuckle? It needs to be pruned so that it will fill out. Also, how much do I prune it? Thank you,
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center