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|Positive ||peachespickett ||On Apr 29, 2008, peachespickett from Huntington, AR wrote:
I grew up in the California foothills, munching on these wild grapes in the ravines. Though they have a large seed, they are sweet, with a classic 'red' grape flavor. I have one growing on a chainlink fence here in Western Arkansas (I just HAD to buy it), it has done perfect, even with the humidity and record rainfall and late frosts 2 years in a row.
|Positive ||droughtlover ||On Jun 30, 2006, droughtlover from Igo, CA wrote:
Native to Oregon and California. I have numerous wild specimens on my 11 acre property that receive no visible summer water; however, these plants tend to grow only in the low places of the property, and probably benefit from deep roots penetrating into groundwater. That said, well-established plants are probably fairly drought tolerant.
Unsupported plants will sprawl and make interesting groundcovers. Given support, will climb endlessly and fill-in any open spaces. Will completely invade the canopy when allowed to climb trees; most of my native oaks survive this invasion, but reportedly some species of trees will die eventually.
During the growing season, leaves and overall structure have a tropical appearance. Leaves are smaller and and more rounded than vineyard grapes. A good alternative to the more invasive Hedera helix, if you don't mind a deciduous alternative. Also less invasive than Campsis radicans, though the grape may not be as hardy, nor does it have showy flowers. Fall color is variable, from yellow to crimson red; some specimens rivaling Parthenocissus in intensity. I'm not sure if fall color is a genetic variation, and/or due to soil factors. I plan to test that this year by taking cuttings from specimens that express different fall color, and then growing them in identical conditons, and see what happens. There are varieties available from mail-order that are advertised as having a specific fall color, which supports the genetic variation hypothesis.
Fruit production negligible, though edible. Animals spreading the fruit will result in the occasional volunteer plant popping up, especially in well-watered areas. Volunteers are easy to destroy or to transplant. I have not found this plant listed in any of the invasive plant sites as a wildland threat.
A very worthwhile addition to the garden.
|Positive ||Flit ||On Dec 30, 2003, Flit from Santa Cruz, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
I first saw this growing on a huge arbor with well-established vines thicker than my wrist, and it would be my choice for an arbor if I ever build one. It has small bunches of dark purple grapes that add interest in the fruiting season. They are edible but quite sour; my vine doesn't produce enough to make jam from, though I have been told that they make a good jam.
I planted it near my garden fence, and it has proven very hardy, coming back year after year. I don't know if it's truly drought tolerant because based on the position in my garden it gets a reasonable amount of water. My garden is on the dry side and sometimes goes over a week without watering in the summer, and it does seem to contend well with those dry periods. It also contended with a repositioning/rebuilding of the garden fence that killed off many other plants due to the root disruption.
Management-wise, I cut mine back every winter so it doesn't take everything over; without this treatment it would happily consume half my garden. It grows back as good as new in the spring. I may try training it through and around my garden fence and leave the trained vines to get a neater and more interesting effect.
It also puts on a nice winter show, with its leaves turning red before they fall. It still had red leaves to the end of December.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Santa Cruz, California
New York, New York