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

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

Help with control of small, invasive groundcover
April 16, 2012 - I have a very invasive ground cover creeping into my yard. I've tried to identify it and it's similar to creeping charlie or garlic mustard. Leaves are triangular with jagged edges, small purple f...
view the full question and answer

Red berries growing along county road in Caldwell County, Texas
September 06, 2014 - Hello, first I would like to thank you for your time. I thank it's great that you guys and girls answer questions (I'm sure y'all are busy). That being said I will get to the question. On the sides...
view the full question and answer

Dead or Dormant Chile Pequins in Corpus Christi
November 12, 2010 - We have 4 chile pequin and 5 chiltepin plants growing our yard. All were thriving beautifully until we took a 12-day vacation in late July. There was little rain during that time but overall this y...
view the full question and answer

Best vegetables to grow in San Antonio
June 06, 2006 - What vegtables are the safest bet for growing in San Antonio? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Wild plums for jelly from Conroe TX
December 18, 2012 - Do wild plum trees grow in my area? I want to get some next summer to make plum jelly.
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