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Mr. Smarty Plants - Variation in leaves for <em>Vitis mustangensis</em>

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Thursday - May 17, 2012

From: Sunset Valley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Vines
Title: Variation in leaves for Vitis mustangensis
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I am doing a sculpture of a mustang grape vine in limestone. In seeking a good leaf image I notice that there are both roundish shaped leaves and highly divided or "fingered" shapes on your site. Are both shapes Texas mustang foliage just variations for vine ages etc. Clear this up for me please. Thanks StoneCarverCat

ANSWER:

Vitis mustangensis (Mustang grape) has two different types of leaves and the type isn't associated with the age of the leaf—the shape of the leaf doesn't change once it has formed.  However, according to Brother Daniel Lynch in Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country, it depends on the the speed of growth of the shoots.  Here is what he says:

"Leaves in two forms; one form unlobed or shallowly lobed, and the other form deeply lobed, with the latter less common and on rapidly growing shoots.  The lower surface of the unlobed leaves often concave."

You can read the text concerning the leaves of the mustang grape in Shinners and Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas on p. 1072 and see the drawings on p. 1073.

 

From the Image Gallery


Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

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Bibliography

Native & Naturalized Woody Plants of Austin & the Hill Country (1981) Lynch, D.

Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F. Mahler; L. H. Shinners

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