Herb: Spiny Vitis


Latin name: Vitis davidii


Synonyms: Spinovitis davidii, Vitis armata


Family: Vitaceae (Grape Family)



Edible parts of Spiny Vitis:

Fruit - raw or dried for winter use. A harsh flavour. A pleasant flavour according to other reports. Small but sweet. The fruit is about 16mm in diameter. Young leaves are wrapped around other foods and then baked, they impart a pleasant flavour. Young tendrils - raw or cooked.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Climber

Height:
15 m
(49 feet)

Flowering:
June
to July

Habitat of the herb:

Thickets.

Other uses of Spiny Vitis:

A yellow dye is obtained from the fresh or dried leaves. Plants can be used as a ground cover in a sunny position. They are best spaced about 3.5 metres apart each way. They can be encouraged to cover the ground by laying brushwood flat on the ground and pegged into position. The twigs would eventually rot and the plant would assume complete and constant control.

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 Spiny Vitis:

Thickets.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Vitis davidii:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.