Mystery Grape? Solved, Peppervine

I found this vine in North Florida near the Suwannee River.  Looks like a grape, but the leaves were not quite right for a Muscadine.  The fruit was very sweet, yes I am crazy enough to taste it even if I don’t know what it is.  I only tasted, I did not eat them.  This was in the summer when other grapes were bearing fruit in the woods.

Dan the Madison County Agricultural Agent helped me identify this as a Peppervine, a member of the grape family.  Some information I read says it is ok to eat and some says it is not.

Merriwether’s Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Texas and the Southwest @ said:  “Dangers: Some people have reported stomach upset after eating peppervine fruit. Limit yourself to small servings until you know how your body will react.”

Duke University @ said: “The fruits are NOT edible but said to have a peppery taste.”  I wonder who tasted it at Duke.

University of Texas @ said: “Fruits with Unknown Toxicity: Avoid Eating Them.” I think their lawyer must have written that.

The United States Department of Agriculture @ said it is a food source for mammals and birds.  Do you know any mammals?

Eat at your own risk, I am going to try another one the next time I find one of these vines at the 40 acre woods.

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5 Responses to Mystery Grape? Solved, Peppervine

  1. Ripp says:

    So you found these on your property? Maybe the deer like them, I would like to plant some of those.

  2. Brian says:

    Found this one just down the road by the Suwannee River around the end of August. Pretty fruit and I will look for them again this summer. I would not mind having some of these around if it will help keep the deer off my fruit trees.

  3. Richard says:

    Would you be able to help identify this strange fruit setting on my grape vine right now? Mine is a Concord grape, producing normal fruits, but I noticed this today, it looks much like a fig fruit, but why?

    • Brian says:

      I am not a grape expert.

      My best guess is That is the grape tumid gall. The insect that causes it is called, not surprisingly, the grape tumid gallmaker. The adult is a type of midge.
      The larval stage of the midge actually causes the gall. The galls usually form on leaves, but sometimes on stems, petioles and flower clusters.

      It’s generally not a major problem although if the gall forms on a flower cluster you won’t get any grapes from that cluster. There usually aren’t enough around to be an issue.

  4. Debbie Washington says:

    What I read says they have calcium palate in them. You must process the juice as if for making jelly and allow it to set so the calcium palate settles to the bottom. Then siphon the juice off and discard the calcium oxalate.

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