Herb: Frost Grape

Latin name: Vitis cordifolia

Synonyms: Vitis vulpina

Family: Vitaceae (Grape Family)

Edible parts of Frost Grape:

Fruit - raw, cooked or dried for winter use. They are said to be unpalatable until they have been touched by frost. A spicy flavour. Quite tasty. The fruit is about 8 - 12mm in diameter and is produced in fairly large bunches. Leaves - cooked. Young leaves are wrapped around other foods and then baked, they impart a pleasant flavour. Young tendrils - raw or cooked. The twigs are a tea substitute.

Description of the plant:


20 m
(66 feet)

May to


Habitat of the herb:

River banks, bottom lands and rich thickets.

Other uses of Frost Grape:

A yellow dye is obtained from the fresh or dried leaves.

Propagation of the herb:

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. Layering.

Cultivation of Frost Grape:

River banks, bottom lands and rich thickets.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Vitis cordifolia:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.