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Quail-Friendly Plants of the Midwest

Grapes, wild

  • Vitis spp., Ampelopsis spp.

Woody

Winter cover Summer coverEscape coverFood

Wild grape can quickly cover a brush pile Wild grape can quickly cover a brush pile, enhancing its value to quail.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation
 

Wild grape fruits

Wild grape fruits resemble miniature versions of the cultivated varieties. Many wildlife species relish the fruits.

Don Kurz, Missouri Department of Conservation

Grape leaves are simple and alternate on the stem

Grape leaves are simple and alternate on the stem. Leaves of the true grapes (Vitis) tend to be somewhat heart-shaped, while the raccoon grape (Ampelopsis) has triangular leaves. Shown here is riverbank grape, Vitis riparia.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation

Tendrils are the means by which grape vines climb

Tendrils are the means by which grape vines climb trees and trellises.

Scott Sudkamp, Missouri Department of Conservation

Description

Grapes are vines capable of climbing to 75 feet or more by means of tendrils. Leaves are alternate, simple and heart-shaped (Vitis) to triangular (Ampelopsis). Flowers bloom from mid to late spring, and globe-shaped fruits are borne in drooping clusters from late summer through fall.

Use by bobwhites

The fruits are eaten by many species of birds, including bobwhites. Vines sometimes provide woody cover when they form a dense net and grow to cover brush piles and downed trees. Quail managers engaged in edge-feathering projects that drop mature trees can use this to their advantage by cutting trees with grapes attached. By cutting the tree but not the vine, the grapes will quickly spread to cover the downed tree, offering good summer and winter cover and putting the fruit in reach of bobwhites.
 

 

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MP903 Quail-Friendly Plants of the Midwest | Page 21 | University of Missouri Extension