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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - March 14, 2016

From: Driftwood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Vines
Title: Information about mustang grapes
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in the Driftwood area. There is a native vine that looks like Mustang grape but never produces. A friend who is native to this area called it rat vine. I miss my Mustang grape jelly. Is this vine a variation that just needs a supplement to produce? Also, will Mustang grape do well here? I can transplant some. Thank you. Rob Schneider

ANSWER:

Sorry, but I don't know what a rat vine is so I can't help you identify your vine. 

According to the USDA Plants Database there are two species of native grapes that occur in Hays County, Texas—Vitis mustangensis (Mustang grape) and Vitis cinerea (Graybark grape) [our Native Plant Database has an entry for Vitis cinerea var. helleri (Winter grape) and here are more photos from the School of Biological Sciences, The Univeristy of Texas].  Mustang grapes should do well there in Driftwood.  Here are photos of mustang grapes from the Archive of Central Texas Plants from the School of Biological Sciences, The Univeristy of Texas.

You might be interested in reading the answer to a recent question about propagating mustang grapes.  I'm not sure why your grapevine (whatever its species) is not producing grapes.  Perhaps it isn't old enough or, in my experience with mustang grapes, some years a particular vine will have a bumper crop of grapes and some years the same vine will have very few or none.  Most grape vines (mustang grapes, in particular) have perfect flowers (i.e., with both male and female parts) and are capable of self-pollination.  Here is the answer to a recent question about determining which grape vines are male and which are female.

The Wildflower Center Spring 2016 Native Plant Sale occurs Friday, April 8 (Members only) and Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10 for the general public.  It is possible that there will be mustang grape vines for sale then.  You can check the 2016 Native Plant Sale page closer to the sale time to read a list of plants that will be for sale.

 

From the Image Gallery


Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

Winter grape
Vitis cinerea var. helleri

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