Fruit of the vine.

August 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm (Ampelopsis, brevipedunculata, Plants, Porcelain Berry, vines) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

By Brother John

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata, Porcelain Berry

Simply the most gorgeous porcelain vine berries!

For many years I had a beautiful Morning Glory vine which regrew annually from seeds it dropped at the end of each growing season. In the Spring, the seeds would sprout and I’d have Morning Glory vines all over again. As I said, this went on successfully for quite a number of years. But then one Spring, all that changed.

Once again a vine sprouted, but only one. It grew and at first I didn’t notice that the leaves were different and so I continued to believe it was a Morning Glory vine. And then I noticed it wasn’t.

The vine was way too aggressive and was quite hearty. Its single vine began to take over an entire fence that usually supported a number of Morning Glory vines. It had tendrils that wrapped around everything it found, and in so doing anchored the vine securely in place. If it found a nail, or a link, or a post, or a wire, it threw out tendrils which quickly wrapped around each object like some living beast. It was fascinating to watch, (and maybe just a bit scary). Then I noticed that its leaves kept getting bigger and bigger and turned a very healthy green. It was quite the vigorous and vibrant vine!

I let it go where ever it wanted to, and watched it growing each and every day. And then one day toward the later part of summer, it began to put out tiny little flowers. Actually they were more like tiny yellow dots, but if you looked very closely you could see that they were indeed a flower. Soon each tiny flower was getting a lot of attention from several different types of bees who hungrily visited each and every one.

One day, tiny little green berries began to form where once there were flowers. And they grew bigger with each passing new day! And then they did the most amazing thing. Each berry started to take on a bluish color while tiny dark blue speckles randomly patterned its surface. I was amazed and thrilled and humbled by what nature can do. And they got bluer every day! Some of them also turned purple with the passing of time.

Winter forced the vine to go dormant and I didn’t have time to rip the remains off of the fence. I was glad this happened with the coming of Spring. Because this vine didn’t have to start over like my Morning Glory’s always had. This just started sprouting leaves where the dormant vines already were. And it picked up where it had left off (so to speak).

I know this is just a “weed”. Some say the berries are probably poisonous. Most caution me to get rid of it and perhaps I will in time. But for right now, I just love the beautiful show it gives me at the end of the summer. And it amuses me that this “volunteer” chose my fence for its home.

Breaking news! I just learned its name, and evidently the berries are NOT poisonous. They just don’t taste very good to humans. Birds love them!

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