Vines and Other Climbing Plants

Vitis – Ornamental Grape Vines.


Grape vines have long been grown in the UK for their grapes, but elsewhere the leaves of the vines have been used for centuries in food preparation as an edible wrapper. (See Link Grape Vines) With this interest in their leaves, some members of the Grape vine family have been bred specifically for their leaves to be more decorative and ornamental without the vine producing edible fruit. As with many plants grown for their leaves the colours become particularly vivid with shades of red, scarlet and orange/yellow in the Autumn as the chlorophyll and sugar levels in the leaves change in preparation for the plant to shed them for the coming Winter.

In fact of all the Grape Vine family only a few species actually produce grapes fit to eat and most of the cultivated grape types are derived from one in particular called Vitis Vinifera.

At plant retail centres the ornamental types of the Grape family will be seen on sale under the name of “Vitis,” as against “Grape Hamburg,” for example for the edible types. Ornamental vines will also be placed on sale along with other climbing plants rather than with the soft fruit. 

Ornamental vines like fertile, well-drained soil just the same as the edible vines, but ornamental types prefer cold winters whereas, many of the edible types require more sheltered conditions.

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