Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mustang Grape, Texas Grape, Rio Grande Grape
Vitis mustangensis

Family: Vitaceae (vee-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Vitis (VEE-tiss) (Info)
Species: mustangensis (mus-tang-EN-sis) (Info)

Synonym:Vitis candicans
Synonym:Vitis candicans var. diversa
Synonym:Vitis mustangensis var. diversa

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts
Vines and Climbers

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Good Fall Color

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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2 positives
6 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral HippyChick00062 On Jun 30, 2013, HippyChick00062 from deCordova, TX wrote:

This vine just "Showed up" about 5 years ago on my fence. I have made some wonderful jellies! However, I can't seem to get a decent clipping to root - (ANY suggestions on this would be welcomed), and this year, I am noticing there are 2 different types of leaves, 1 that has fruit, and 1 that doesn't. In years past the entire vine (Along a 40 ft fence) produced luscious black grapes, that were huge. This year however, the grapes are about half of what I've picked in previous years. The non-fruit vine leaves look almost like an thick Oak leaf, and the fruit vine leaves look triangular shaped. Does anyone know what causes this? Also, I need info on how to prune in the winter.

Positive JJoe On Jan 30, 2011, JJoe from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

I am currently trying to tame some vines that I believe to be Mustang grapes on my friend's land just outside Ft. Worth. They grow way up high in the trees and make it hard to get the grapes so I am pulling them down and going to try to trellis them. Let me know if anyone has any tips and I'll let you know how it goes. I've made some good jam from them already and want to make more and maybe try some wine. Some of the vine bases are almost 10-12" across and cover multiple trees so I'm guessing they are pretty old.

Positive John_Bales On Aug 25, 2010, John_Bales from Waverly, AL wrote:

When I was a kid growing up in Texas my grandmother would save the ripe skins of the Mustang grapes and dry them. In the winter she would pour boiling water over them and add sugar to make a delicious hot grape drink.

Neutral j2catfish On Jul 23, 2010, j2catfish from Newport, NC wrote:

I transplanted five rootings here in coastal North Carolina, obtained from around Cochran, Texas, near Hempstead, Texas, two years ago. The roots came from an ancient trellis at an old home site. Lost one rooting the first year. The remainder are growing rapidly. This year (July 2010) I have a grand total of six (6) grapes on two of the vines. I plan on a vigorous pruning in early winter. They are being trellis grown. My main use of the grapes will be for jelly and to augment other grapes for home wine making. I am also layering some shoots for future trading.

Neutral beryl_w2 On Jul 19, 2010, beryl_w2 from Weatherford, TX wrote:

I have this plant all over my 15 acres in Parker county near the city of Azle, Texas. It is as stated by others growing all over my trees but not the cedar trees. Some of the vines are 4 to 5 inches in diameter. The grapes are loaded this year and bitter or sour to the taste. Not all have grapes.

Neutral cam2 On Feb 13, 2009, cam2 from Houston, TX wrote:

This plant grew wild in the woods of my farm outside of Bridgeport, TX. Makes some of the best jelly in the world! As kids, we would "slip" the skin off to eat it ~ as it is the skin that would tear up the mouth.

Neutral FaerieDustFalls On Jul 9, 2006, FaerieDustFalls from Denton, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

My grandmother grew this in her massive garden in Texas, trained on huge trellises. It grew all the way down one fence, with a long stretch of lawn running the same length- that way it didn't compete with other plants. It was somewhat of a "beast," as she always complained about having to go out and "tame the mustangs." It's actually listed as a noxious weed in some states, and the high acid content can irritate skin and the mouth. Glove use when picking is recommended, though I never saw my grandmother use them. Some cultivars are very bitter or sour, others more sweet. Excellent wine can be made from them; there are many wine making recipes on the internet for this. My grandmother made jelly, though she complained of having to use lots of sugar. Older vines can make very thick "trunks" and can also take over trees and shrubs, so be careful. Pruning should be done in winter to prevent "bleeding." Leaves can be lobed or not. Berries can be dark red, dark purple, black, or gold-white. If you want to take the extra time and trouble, it's a beautiful and useful addition to the garden.

Neutral ButterflyMom21 On Jul 10, 2004, ButterflyMom21 from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This wild grape vine grows uncontrollably all over my area in southern Bexar County. It is almost impossible to remove completely, but I have to keep it somewhat maintained otherwise it can "choke out" my hickories and other trees on my land. It can kill or hurt trees since the grape leaves will twist around and nearly completely cover a tree's own foliage/leaves.
Otherwise, it is a nice low-maintainance vine with pretty two-tone green leaves. The vines on my property are the gender that does not produce actual grapes, so I do not usually see very much in the way of blooms or fruit. But it does add a nice touch to the landscape... Once I get my wood fence built, I hope to "train" the vine to grow over the fence instead of my trees!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Townsend, Georgia
Arlington, Texas
Athens, Texas
Austin, Texas
Bryan, Texas
Burleson, Texas
Cedar Creek, Texas
De Leon, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Dripping Springs, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Galveston, Texas
Granbury, Texas
Grand Prairie, Texas
Huntsville, Texas
Kempner, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas
Lockhart, Texas
Mico, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Snook, Texas
Vidor, Texas
Weatherford, Texas

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