Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Frost Grape - Vitis vulpina   L.
Members of Vitaceae:
Members of Vitis with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Rhamnales » Family Vitaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
DistributionPresent over nearly all of the state, but relatively few records for the far eastern Coastal Plain and much of the southwestern Coastal Plain counties. May well be present in nearly all counties, but seems genuinely scarce or absent in the Sandhills. NOTE: The range map in RAB (1968) is woefully incorrect, with only a small scattering of counties showing.

This is a widespread species in the Eastern half of the US, ranging from Ontario and NY south to central FL and central TX.
AbundanceReasonably common to common across the Mountains and Piedmont; fairly common in much of the Coastal Plain, but abundance there is probably a bit uncertain, and it is definitely scarce in the Sandhills. As with several other grape species (Vitis), there seems to have been a relative dearth of collections of grape specimens in the Coastal Plain, for some unknown reason -- certainly as compared to the collection efforts in the Piedmont and Mountains. And, to emphasize the "ennui" of dealing with grapes in NC, the NC NHP still has not given a state rank to the species; the S5? has been assigned by this website.
HabitatThis is a species of fairly moist to rich forests, such as bottomlands, moist upland forests, and less so in drier forests. It is also found in thickets, sandbars, and other semi-open habitats.
PhenologyBlooms in May and June, and fruits from July to November.
IdentificationThis is another deciduous, high-climbing woody vine. It has fairly large leaves like other grapes, unlobed or with small side lobes, averaging about 4 inches across. Like V. riparia, the leaves tend to be rather shiny above and rather green and somewhat glabrous below. The species should best be identified by the round (terete) branchlets. The sinus at the base of the leaves is deeply V-shaped. There are no tendrils or inflorescences opposite every third leaf, though most grapes also share this mark. This is another of the quite numerous grapes of bottomlands and moist woods in the state; thus, you may want to collect a sample twig and leaves and identify them later, as field identification may be tricky and time-consuming.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Winter Grape, Chicken Grape. There is a mismatch between the scientific name and the common name of several grapes! As Will Cook’s website points out, the scientific name – Vitis vulpina – literally means “fox grape”. However, Fox Grape is the common name typically assigned to V. labrusca!
State Rank[S5?] *
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFAC link
USACE-empFAC link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Select a source
Select an occurrence type