Porcelain Berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata)

300x225Very abundant along the coast of MA currently, Porcelain Berry’s origins are in eastern Asia. Despite its invasive status it is still promoted as a bedding or landscape plant. This has contributed to its distribution in much of the eastern United States south to Virginia. It is a woody vine, similar in appearance to grape vine, that climbs up to 20 feet up trees and shrubs. Unlike grape vine, small bumps (lenticels) are present on porcelain berry; also unlike grape vine, the bark does not peel. The leaves of the plant are toothed with 3-5 lobes; the flowers are a green-white and occur in clusters. The berries, that gave the plant its name, are speckled and colorful, ranging from a light blue, to lilac or pink.

This plant is a problem because it climbs over trees and shrubs, and can eventually shade them out. They will then begin to weaken or die due to a lack of sunlight. It spreads by seed, with birds often eating the colorful berries and depositing the seeds elsewhere. Uprooting is an option for removal as long as the full root base is dug up. If uprooting is not an option it Ampelopsis brevipedunculata - Porcelain Berryis recommended that cutting and application of herbicides be used. Pulling the vines down off shrubs and trees will help to undo damage done by this plant.