Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Possum Grape - Vitis baileyana  
Members of Vitaceae:
Members of Vitis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Vitaceae
DistributionPresent throughout the Mountains and almost all of the Piedmont, though it may be absent in the northeastern Piedmont.

This is a species of the Southeastern states, ranging north to southern PA and southeastern IN, and south to the central parts of SC, GA, and AL.
AbundanceFairly common to common in the Mountains and Piedmont, except rare to absent in the northeastern Piedmont. Not certain if present in the Coastal Plain.
HabitatThis species is found in a wide variety of moist forests and small openings, but mainly in bottomlands or drier parts of swamp forests. Plants in floodplain forests can grow to very large size -- up to 10 inches diameter and 200 feet long.
PhenologyFlowers in May and June, and fruits in September and October.
IdentificationThis is a high-climbing, deciduous, woody vine, with large leaves to about 6 inches across. The leaves mostly have only small side lobes, with shallow sinuses; some are un-lobed. The leaves are often light green to pale green below but are not whitish/whitened. This species and the very similar V. simpsonii have angled “branchlets of the season” (as Weakley 2018 calls them), as opposed to rounded (terete) branchlets. Tendrils or inflorescences are not opposite each leaf, as they are in Vitis labrusca. This newly re-split species has smooth or nearly smooth branchlets and the nodes are usually banded with some red pigmentation; the similar V. simpsonii has more pubescent twigs and nodes usually have no red pigmentation. Check with more detailed keys, such as in Weakley (2018), to separate this species from others.
Taxonomic CommentsThe former V. baileyana, as noted in RAB (1968), was included in V. cinerea -- as V. cinerea var. baileyana -- by most authorities, and usually still is. However, Weakley (2018) has pulled this taxon back out as a valid species,and he also has pulled out the former V. cinearea var. floridana and V. cinerea var. cinerea as a separate species named as V. simpsonii.

Other Common Name(s)None
State Rank[S4S5]
Global RankG4G5TNR [GNR]
State Status
US Status
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Photo Gallery
B.A. SorriePiedmont, terrace on S side Deep River, N of Harrington Road; looping vine; Oct 2014. MoorePhoto_natural
B.A. SorriePiedmont, near former boat launch on W side Deep River, S of NC 42; June 2015. MoorePhoto_natural
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