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
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

Identifying a plant similar to sarsaparilla
September 04, 2011 - I am trying to identify a plant that looks very similar to sasparilla, but has a ring of blue berries at the end of a long stalk, and the plant itself is spreading, not an isolated herb like sasparill...
view the full question and answer

Are berries of coral honeysuckle edible from Lufkin TX
May 21, 2013 - Are the berries of coral honeysuckle edible?
view the full question and answer

Recipe for Sideroxylon lanuginosum (Gum bumelia) fruits
August 17, 2014 - Do you have a recipe for using the fruits of Sideroxylon Lanuginosa?
view the full question and answer

Does molasses make glutinous corn palatable from The Philippines
November 06, 2011 - What would be the effect of molasses in the growth of glutinous corn?? Does molasses make the plant palatable?
view the full question and answer

Controlling Cnidoscolus texanus (Texas bullnettle)
July 18, 2013 - Hello,I need your help to control some nasty weeds in my yard/pasture. I am an old timer and do not have a picture to include—haven't figured out that part of the camera/phone yet. This weed is a pri...
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