- China, Korea, Japan, and Russian Far East
Porcelain-berry is a deciduous,
woody, perennial vine. It twines with the help of non-adhesive tendrils that
occur opposite the leaves and closely resembles native grapes in the genus
Vitis. The stem pith of porcelain-berry is white (grape is brown) and continuous
across the nodes (grape is not), the bark has lenticels (grape does not),
and the bark does not peel (grape bark peels or shreds). The Ieaves are alternate,
broadly ovate with a heart-shaped base, palmately 3-5 lobed or more deeply
dissected, and have coarsely toothed margins. The inconspicuous, greenish-white
flowers with "free" petals occur in cymes opposite the leaves from June through
August (in contrast to grape species that have flowers with petals that touch
at tips and occur in panicles. The fruits appear in September-October and
are colorful, changing from pale lilac, to green, to a bright blue. Porcelain-berry
is often confused with species of grape (Vitis) and may be confused
with several native species of Ampelopsis -- Ampelopsis arborea and Ampelopsis
a vigorous invader of open and wooded habitats. It grows and spreads quickly
in areas with high to moderate light. As it spreads, it climbs over shrubs
and other vegetation, shading out native plants and consuming habitat.
IN THE UNITED STATES
Porcelain-berry is found from New England to
North Carolina and west to Michigan (click here for USDA Plants map) and
is reported to be invasive in twelve states in the Northeast: Connecticut,
Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
HABITAT IN THE UNITED STATES
grows well in most soils, especially forest edges, pond margins, stream banks,
thickets, and waste places, where there is full sunlight to partial shade,
and where it is not permanently wet. Porcelain-berry appears to be less tolerant
of heavily shaded areas, such as that found in mature forest interiors.
was originally cultivated around the 1870s as a bedding and landscape plant.
In spite of its aggressiveness in some areas, it is still used in the horticultural
trade (for example, the ornamental A. brevipedunculata 'Elegans' is
often recommended as a landscape plant with a cautionary note that "care
must be taken to keep it from overtaking and shading out small plants").
The same characteristics that make porcelain-berry a desirable plant for
the garden -- its colorful berries, good ground coverage, trellis-climbing
vines, pest-resistance, and tolerance of adverse conditions -- are responsible
for its presence in the United States as an undesirable invader.
BIOLOGY & SPREAD
spreads by seed and through vegetative means. The colorful fruits, each with
two to four seeds, attract birds and other small animals that eat the berries
and disperse the seeds in their droppings. The seeds of porcelain-berry germinate
readily to start new infestations. Porcelain-berry is often found growing
in riparian areas downstream from established patches, suggesting they may
be dispersed by water also. The taproot of porcelain-berry is large and vigorous.
Resprouting will occur in response to cutting of above-ground portions.
vines can grow up to 15 ft. in a single growing season, especially when rainfall
is abundant, and seed may be viable in the soil for several years, effective
control requires dedicated followup. Treatment measures often must be repeated
during the growing season and for several years afterwards to fully eradicate
the plant. Prevention of flowering, fruiting and production of mature seeds
will help reduce its spread.
Hand pulling of vines in the
fall or spring will prevent flower buds from forming the following season.
Where feasible, plants should be pulled up by hand before fruiting to prevent
the production and dispersal of seeds. If the plants are pulled while in
fruit, the fruits should be bagged and disposed of in a landfill. For vines
too large to pull out, cut them near the ground and either treat cut stems
with systemic herbicide or repeat cutting of regrowth as needed.
Chemical control in combination
with manual and mechanical methods is effective and likely to be necessary for
large infestations. The systemic herbicides triclopyr (e.g., Garlon® 3A and Garlon
4) and glyphosate (e.g., Roundup® and Rodeo®) have been used successfully by many
The most effective control has been achieved using triclopyr
formulations. From summer to fall, apply a water-based solution of 2.5% Garlon
3A (triclopyr amine) to foliage or cut plants first, allow time for regrowth
and then apply the mixture. Smaller infestations can be controlled to some
extent with spot applications of glyphosate to leaves, used sparingly to avoid
contact of desirable plants with spray. Cut the vines back during the summer
and allow to resprout before applying herbicide, or apply glyphosate to leaves
in early autumn, just prior to senescence.
Basal bark application
Apply a mixture of 20-30% Garlon® 4 (triclopyr
ester) mixed with commercially available basal oil, horticultural oil, diesel
fuel, No. 1 or No. 2 fuel oil, or kerosene, to 2 - 3 ft. long sections of stem
near the base of the vines.
USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS.
NOTICE: MENTION OF PESTICIDE PRODUCTS ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.
For more information on the management of
Porcelainberry, please contact:
- Lisa Jameson, National Park Service, National
Capital Region, Exotic Plant Management Team, Washington, DC, 20007; Lisa_Jameson
- Susan Salmons, National Park Service, Rock
Creek Park, Washington, DC; Sue_Salmons at nps.gov; 202-426-6834, ext.
- Jil Swearingen, National Park Service,
Center for Urban Ecology, Washington, DC;
Jil_Swearingen at nps.gov
SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE PLANTS
non-invasive vines are available. Some native substitutes to consider include
trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), trumpet creeper (Campsis
radicans), American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens)*, Virginia
creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), and goldflame honeysuckle (Lonicera
heckrottii). In the southeast, several species of native Ampelopsis occur
and should be considered if the habitat is appropriate. Please consult the
native plant society in your state for more suggestions and information on
sources of native plants.
* If you wish to
plant wisteria, make certain that it is the native species. Two commonly
planted ornamental wisterias, Chinese wisteria (Wisteria
sinensis) and Japanese wisteria (Wisteria
floribunda), are exotic and aggressive invaders.
Jamie Young, National Research Council, Washington,
Jil M. Swearingen, National Park Service,
Carol Jelich, Ann F. Rhoads, and Louisa Thompson
Jil M. Swearingen, National Park Service,
Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of
Woody Landscape Plants. Stipes Publishing, Chicago.
Gleason, H.A. and Cronquist, A.
1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent
Canada, Second Edition. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY.
Magee, D.W. and H.E. Ahles. 1999.
Flora of the Northeast. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.
Maryland Native Plant Society. Control
of Invasive Non-Native Plants: A Guide for Gardeners and Homeowners in the
Mid-Atlantic Region. Online. Available: http://mdflora.org/publications/invasives.htm
Randall, J. M., and Marinelli, J.
1996. Invasive Plants: Weeds of the Global Garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden,
Rehder, A. Manual of Cultivated
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in North America Exclusive of the Subtropical and
Warmer Temperate Zones, 2nd ed. The MacMillan Company, New York. 996 pp.
Rhoads, A.F. and T.A Block. 2000.The
Plants of Pennsylvania, An Illustrated Manual. University of Pennsylvania
Press. 1061 pp.
Robertson, D.J., M.C. Robertson,
and T. Tague. 1994. Colonization dynamics of four exotic plants in a northern
Piedmont natural area. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 121(2):107-118.
Rose, N. 1998. Field Notes: Ampelopsis
brevipedunculata 'Elegans'. American Nurseryman.
Salmons, S. 2000. Rock Creek Park
Invasive Non-Native Plant Mitigation Program. Final Report. National Park
Service, Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC.
Swearingen, J. 2009. WeedUS Database of Plants Invading Natural Areas in the United States: Porcelainberry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata). http://www.invasive.org/weedus/subject.html?sub=3007.
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources
Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: http://www.ars-grin.gov/var/apache/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?2964
(01 September 2004).
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
Virginia Native Plant Society. Invasive
Alien Plant Species of Virginia: Porcelain-berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Maxim.)
Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group.