I'm having problems with an invasive vine that climbs over and covers hedges and trees, but I've found it difficult to identify on the internet. A local plant ecologist in Alexandria, VA identified it as porcelain-berry from some pictures, but I don't recall ever seeing the characteristic multicolored berries on it. I've seen these vines for a few years now---is it possible for porcelain-berry to not actually produce berries? Somebody else thought it might be wild grape, but the leaves don't look quite the same to me. Can anybody confirm the porcelain-berry diagnosis or offer an alternative identification?

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Notice the tendrils with which the vines attach themselves to the host.

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EDIT: The vine is now positively identifiable as porcelain berry:

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2 Answers 2


I've never heard of porcelain-berry, but looking at the Virginia Native Plant website, your climber certainly looks like it. In particular the "inflorescence ... is a cymose panicle – its umbrella-shaped top sticks up", as yours does. In contrast, "the inflorescence of our native grapes are panicles that are broad at the base, tapered at the tip, and droop downward". They also state that: "to complicate matters for people trying to learn to identify it in the field, the leaves of porcelain berry can assume greatly varied forms, even on the same vine" (as can be seen on the website).

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    I certainly agree with the leaves assuming "greatly varied forms." There seems to be a lot of that, and I sometimes wonder how much these vines try to mimic the host. Distinguishing the trunks and stems near the base is particularly difficult. Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 19:44

If the berries just turn black and aren't multicoloured, it is most likely wild grapevine (Vitis riparia); porcelain berry and wild grape are often confused with one another because of their similarity in growth habit and leaf shape. Further, identifying details and information on wild grape here https://www.ediblewildfood.com/wild-grape-vine.aspx

  • The difficulty is that we don't want to keep the vines around until the berries or grapes appear, nor could we necessarily do so even if we wanted to because the community is supposedly going to try to get rid of the vines. But the forking tendrils (not visible in my pictures) may be a good indicator of wild grapevine. To be honest, my wife and I are contemplating the possibility that we may actually have both wild grapevine and porcelain-berry. Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 17:15
  • The only way you'll know if you have both is to wait for the berries to colour up - there are green, small berries present already. Otherwise just cut it all back and try to get the roots out, if its causing problems, because it doesn't matter which vine it is if its swamping everything anyway.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 18:39

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