Porcelain berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata)
Porcelain berry is an invasive woody vine in the grape family from northeast Asia. Since its introduction to the United States in 1870 as an ornamental, it has invaded moist soils and forest edges in twelve states in the northeast including New York.
With the ability to climb over 15 feet in a growing season, porcelain easily creates mats of thick twining vines which smother native vegetation. If established in residential or commercial areas, it is difficult to remove from fences, porches and buildings and can incur costs for property owners.
Leaves of porcelain berry vary in shape from a simple heart-shaped leaf with coarse teeth, to a deeply loped leaf with ridgid edges. Flowers are green to white and form in small clusters in mid-summer. Fruit are small berries that can range in color from yellow to purple to blue and have a shine to them similar to porcelain–hence the name.
Distinguishing Invasive Porcelain Berry
From native Species of Grape
Differences can be seen in the bark of these species as the native grape bark is a reddish color and has a shredded appearance,
whereas porcelain berry bark is brown to grey in color and has rigid and furrowed appearance. Another difference is the pith of native grape is brown while invasive porcelain berry has a white pith.
A combination of mechanical and chemical methods is most effective. Large vines must be cut near the ground and treated with a chemical herbicide or repeated cutting must occur. Garlon 3A, Garlon 4 as well as Roundup and Rodeo have been used successfully. All courses of treatment should be completed before fruiting occurs to avoid building a seed bank.
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Title photos: Jil Swearingen, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
First two leaf photos underneath the identification section: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
Third leaf photo underneath the identification section: Tony Beane SUNY Canton
Comparisons of native grape and invasive porcelain berry bark and pith: Mistaken Identity: Invasive Plants and Their Native Look-alikes