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Common Name: Grape
Vitis lanata is a Deciduous Climber
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
E. Asia - China to the Himalayas.
Found in hills to 1500 metres in the Himalayas[
]. Moist open rocky places at elevations of 900 - 2100 metres in Nepal[
Prefers a deep rich moist well-drained moderately fertile loam[
]. Grows best in a calcareous soil[
]. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though a warm sunny position is required for the fruit to ripen[
This species is not very frost resistant, it is unlikely to succeed outdoors outside the mildest areas of the country and will be best grown on a sunny wall even there[
]. Plants seem to be immune to many diseases such as mildew or anthracnose[
]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
Plants climb by means of tendrils[
Any pruning should be carried out in winter when the plants are dormant otherwise they bleed profusely[
Fruit - raw or dried for winter use[
]. A sweet flavour with a blend of acid, the fruit is of good quality but slightly more sour than the cultivated grapes[
]. Rather small, about 5mm in diameter[
], though it is carried in bunches which makes it easier to harvest[
]. The fruit can be up to 11mm in diameter on wild plants in the Himalayas[
]. Annual yields from wild plants average 18.5kg[
]. The fruit contains about 13% sugars, 1% protein, 2.2% ash[
Young leaves are wrapped around other foods and then baked, they impart a pleasant flavour.
Young tendrils - raw or cooked.
Sap - used as a drink[
]. Best harvested in the spring and early summer, the plant yields abundantly[
]. Do not harvest too much, though, or you will weaken the plant[
The watery sap from the stems is dripped into the eyes to relieve inflammation[
A yellow dye is obtained from the fresh or dried leaves[
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[
]. Six weeks cold stratification improves the germination rate, and so stored seed is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is obtained. Germination should take place in the first spring, but sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in early summer.
Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, December/January in a frame. These cuttings can be of wood 15 - 30cm long or they can be of short sections of the stem about 5cm long with just one bud at the top of the section. In this case a thin, narrow strip of the bark about 3cm long is removed from the bottom half of the side of the stem. This will encourage callusing and the formation of roots. Due to the size of these cuttings they need to be kept in a more protected environment than the longer cuttings.