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Vitis cinerea var. helleri (Winter grape)
Henderson, Mary S. and Mary Hall

Vitis cinerea var. helleri

Vitis cinerea (Engelm.) Engelm. ex Millard var. helleri (L.H. Bailey) M.O. Moore

Winter Grape, Heller's Grape, Gray-leaf Grape, Smooth-leaf Grape, Sweet Grape, Spanish Grape

Vitaceae (Grape Family)

Synonym(s): Vitis berlandieri, Vitis cordifolia var. helleri, Vitis helleri


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A common grape with a smooth surface on the lower side of the leaves. Lower surface of mature leaves with white, cobweblike hairs restricted to the veins and visible under a 10x hand lens. Leaf blades up to 4 1/2 inches long and 5 inches wide, broadly ovate to roughly heart shaped, usually with 2 broad lobes, a pointed tip, and broad teeth. Flowers minute, greenish, in branched, sometime s forked, clusters up to 8 inches long, appearing in April and May. Purplish to reddish grapes up to 5/16 inch wide, ripening from August to October, palatable.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Climber, stems up to about 50 feet long.
Fruit: Black.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May


Native Habitat: Flood plains/bottomland, Stream/river banks, Thickets

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Rooting Hormone needed for active cuttings and not for dormant cuttings.


Use Ornamental: Twines on fences & other plants, Attractive, Fruits ornamental
Use Wildlife: Fruit-small mammals, Fruit-birds
Use Food: Blackish or bluish fruit good for the table, wine, jelly.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Edible plants native to Austin, TX
August 05, 2009
Hello, I am a chef from Buenos Aires Argentina visiting Austin, Texas and would like to learn about native, edible plants in the region. Please let me know if there are any native, edible plants...
view the full question and answer

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0290 Collected Aug. 21, 1992 in Kendall County by Kristina Coates

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Vitis cinerea var. helleri in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Vitis cinerea var. helleri in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Vitis cinerea var. helleri


Record Modified: 2023-05-25
Research By: NPC

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