En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - September 06, 2006

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Wine from Ampelopsis arborea?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, can you eat or make wine from the fruit of Ampelopsis arborea? I have found a few vines that are very fruitful and are ready to pick!

ANSWER:

Here are quotes from a couple of people who have tried the berries of Peppervine (Ampelopsis arborea).

Delena Tull in Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest says: "Its black berries are inedible and taste awful, but I have found no reports of toxicity. Peppervine may cause dermatitis."

From The Useful Wild Plants of Texas, the Southeastern and Southwestern United States, the Southern Plains, and Northern Mexico (Vol. 1) by Scooter Cheatham, Marshall Johnston, and Lynn Marshall: "We have found A. arborea fruits to vary widely in flavor, from bland or insipid to slightly sweet and peppery, but more often we have been in agreement with those who feel that the fruits should not be placed in the mouths of humans, especially when there are so many other more palatable wild fruits available."

I did find one toxic plant database, Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, from North Carolina State University that lists Ampelopsis spp. It says that the berries are "questionably poisonous, but use caution" and lists the severity as "causes only low toxicity if eaten."

So, it's rather doubtful if its worth the time and effort (not to mention the sugar) to make something that probably wouldn't taste very good and could potentially cause gastric upset.

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Native Fruits for Texas Hill Country
March 31, 2009 - Can you recommend a species of blackberry for San Antonio or any other fruit that will be compatible in my garden? (mostly Hill Country Native, thanks to Ladybird). The local store has raspberries, bu...
view the full question and answer

Edible Native Plants for a Small Austin Garden
March 15, 2010 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants (or Mrs. or Miss, whomever is answering this go'round)! First off, thank you so much for all the help you have given me in the past. Secondly, the company my husband works ...
view the full question and answer

Toxicity of leaves and berries of lantana
July 19, 2007 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants!!! I live in Columbia, SC and have fallen in love with the Lantana or Lanta plants. I have a lot of them because of their rapid growth. My question is -- in addition to all t...
view the full question and answer

Digging sassafras roots in Oklahoma
March 11, 2009 - When should I dig sassafras roots in eastern Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Landscaping with water garden from Pendleton SC
August 15, 2012 - Searching for native plants in SC. Your results miss some plants listed on your site. I noticed this reading the Mr. Smarty Plants response to "Edible Plants for North GA" We aren't far apart. ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center