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Riverbank Grape - Vitis riparia

Riverbank Grape - Vitis riparia

Vitis riparia, or Riverbank Grape, is a perenial woody vine native to Michigan and the UP. This vine can reach 75 feet in length and may bot be suited for small spaces. If planted in the wrong place, it can overwhelm small trees, but plays nicely in shadier locations with more established woodland or riverbank vegetation. Plant in full sun for best fruit production. Can be pruned to prevent overgrowth.


Flowers are very fragrant, and bloom May to June. Part shade to full sun, and average to moist soil conditions suit this plant. Seeds may be dispersed by birds and mammals, and dense clumps can form.  Works great to cover unsightly chainlink fencing or rock riprap.


This important habitat plant provides food and shelter to many creatures.  Birds can nest in the vines, and songbirds and ground birds eat the fruit and the insects attracted to this plant.  The list of insects who utilize Riverbank Grape in one way or another is long, and it is a host plant for some very dramatic Sphinx moths and many others. The fruit is also eaten by mammals from bear to squirrels, even foxes. Another name for this plant is Frost Grape, because many people prefer to wait until after a frost to harvest the fruit for jams, jellies, wine, and fresh eating. Yes, it is edible!


Please note, we do not currently grow this plant from seed; we source it from a downstate nursery. The nursery has reported that, although they verify their stock to be free of Neonicotinoids, they do use pesticides on their nursery stock.


We have started the process of propegating adequate quantities of this vine from a U.P. seed source so we can offer this plant up to our normal standards. In the meantime, we offer downstate nursery stock because using a native plant to landscape instead of a similarly-raised cultivar will ultimately be beneficial, especially for a long-lived shrub.

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