Pepper Vine

Ampelopsis arborea

Family: Vitaceae (vee-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ampelopsis (am-pel-OP-sis) (Info)
Species: arborea (ar-BOR-ee-uh) (Info)


Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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


Wetumpka, Alabama

Morrilton, Arkansas

Arcadia, Florida

Bartow, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Savannah, Georgia

Statesboro, Georgia

Millstadt, Illinois

Georgetown, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Nicholasville, Kentucky

Greenwell Springs, Louisiana

Mandeville, Louisiana

Pollock, Louisiana

Marietta, Mississippi

Piedmont, Missouri

Cedar Island, North Carolina

Elizabethtown, North Carolina

Hatteras, North Carolina

Manteo, North Carolina

Maysville, North Carolina

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Pocola, Oklahoma

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Memphis, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Baytown, Texas

Cedar Creek, Texas

Houston, Texas

Jacksonville, Texas

Katy, Texas

Manvel, Texas

Nome, Texas

Quinlan, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Snook, Texas

Sugar Land, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 23, 2017, janetfb from Cedar Creek, TX wrote:

This plant is known to be a host plant for 11 species of caterpillars including the eight-spotted forester caterpillar and some sphinx moths. Although its woodiness and gangliness can be problematic, it has proven useful in a structural way in our meadow. They provide a sort of lattice framework for the wild morning glories to climb, making it easier for the bumblebees to get to them. Otherwise, the morning glories would be laying flat on the ground.


On Oct 28, 2014, MeaganW from Baytown, TX wrote:

I rated Neutral because I have only encountered this among many spelunking adventures off the beaten path around the SE Houston Area.

I am currently inflamed with the worst kind of Poison Ivy Rash known to man, so I quickly dismissed this as Poison Ivy without collecting my specimens for pressing. (Ain't nobody got time fo' dat!)

Better to be safe than sorry - snapped two photos until proper ID had been found and plan to grab my specimens in the morning.

That being said, I find this to be a very attractive plant, but I have seen it strangle out neighboring vegetation, powerlines, fences, etc. I would tend to take the local posters advice and not incorporate this into your garden if it is native to your area, or you live in the Houston Area at ... read more


On Sep 29, 2014, Mila1 from Memphis, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:

This vine is a workhorse. Don't plant it next to your dainty flowers. Train it over a chain link fence, and you will never have to water it. Thank goodness for native plants that support wildlife that pollinate our crops and provide us with food.


On Sep 3, 2014, Tired_Yeti from Katy, TX wrote:

While this vine has some aesthetic value, I find that it grows so quickly here (Houston, TX) that it's not controllable. This vine has nearly pulled down my 6 foot wooden fence and almost completely killed all 4 of my Crepe Myrtes. It is also threatening my Mexican Lime tree (which I simply cannot tolerate!). It has found it's way into a couple of small cracks along the coping tiles of my in-ground pool and as it's roots grow down for water, it threatens to crack my plaster pool! It has grown thickly across 2 power poles and along the power lines adding quite a bit of weight to the power cables; thus, threatening my house's power supply. All of the above examples happened over the course of ONE summer! It will trail along fences, your "good" plants, power lines, or any other overhead struc... read more


On May 21, 2013, kozmodaze from Maysville, NC wrote:

at first i didnt know what to think of the pepper vine, but then an odd use came to mind i ran 5 grape wires along the carport almost 50 feet total and trained it to be a living wall/shade/wind break . i will upload a pivture Everyone loves it and it being on the south side of the house it actually provides a nive cool place to relax in the summer. I love it


On Oct 1, 2012, feralboy from Houston, TX wrote:

Rating positive overall but I had one bad experience with the plant as a kid.

One day a friend and I were climbing through a jungle of this stuff that was growing all over staging for a huge crane arm that was laying on the ground, stacked. The berries were everywhere.
I noticed the berries stained clothing so I collected a bunch in a little cotton sack I had that you could buy at the grocery store full of gum shaped like pebbles. I mashed the berries in that sack until it was all saturated and then rinsed out the contents. The little bag was a nice magenta /purple. As were my hands
not long after my hands were itching like crazy. Its been a while ago but, if my memory serves me well, that went on for a good while. Probably until I washed my hands properly. :-... read more


On Nov 8, 2010, wormfood from Lecanto, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I was standing around waiting and admiring this person's weeds hang from a tree when I noticed that the tree WAS the weed. It was the Pepper Vine with a trunk that must have been 8 or 10" in diameter. I just stood there in awe and there was nobody around to tell.


On Apr 13, 2010, goGardenNow from Statesboro, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Hate it. Now, if I could find a good use for it, I'd love it.


On Sep 28, 2009, knolan from Sugar Land, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant grows wild here and pops up in all of my beds and even throughout the grass. If allowed to grow on it's own, it will smother any plant in it's path. It's is as invasive as the trumpet vine. Both are my garden nemesis.


On Jun 12, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

For years this plant has confused me.

First I saw it in the woods and thought it was
a Campsis radicans, so I dismissed it. Then
I saw the plant in a pot well cared for, sold as
Japanese Princess.

Next I bought two little plants at a yard sale called
Arkansas Traveler, which needless to say, led me
on an endless chase for it's true identity.

In brief, this plant may be somewhat unattractive in
the woods, but my gosh, it's a beauty when cared for!
The lady I bought two plants from had it growing up her
eleven foot balcony, where it then spread out in it's glory
of alternating foliage color. Beautiful indeed!

Moral of the story? We have Ampelopsis growing all over
... read more


On Nov 22, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Pepper Vine, Ampelopsis arborea is native to Texas and other States.


On Apr 19, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Just for fun, the name "ampelopsis" means "vinelike". The leaves are deciduous and look like grape vine leaves. Flowers are not very showy, but the fruits are more so. Prefers full sun to partial shade.


On Aug 6, 2004, trois from Santa Fe, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant grows wild over most of our place. It is easily controlled, and is an interesting plant. Many people think it is Poison Ivy.

I ate a lot of the berries this summer. They are related to grapes, and are sweet with a slight black pepper taste. Still a very beautiful plant.
Wildlife like birds, raccoons and so forth are very fond of these. They eat most before I get a chance.