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Common Name: Bird Grape
Vitis munsoniana is a Deciduous Climber
It has edible and miscellaneous uses.
Southern N. America.
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[
Plants climb by means of tendrils[
Any pruning should be carried out in winter when the plants are dormant otherwise they bleed profusely[
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or dried for later use[
]. Thin-skinned with an acid flavour, it can be eaten raw when fully ripe[
]. The fruit is borne in bunches, which makes harvesting easier[
Young leaves - cooked as greens or wrapped around other foods and then baked, when they impart a pleasant flavour[
Young tendrils - raw or cooked.
Sap - used as a drink[
]. It is best harvested in the spring or early summer, but should not be taken in quantity or it will weaken the plant[
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.