Fine Vine

If you do not have a green thumb but have a little space in your yard and a tender spot in your heart for a rebellious perennial beauty, you might try a porcelain berry vine. Mine is planted in a rocky bed with a five-foot wire trellis to guide its climb. Its common name painted a picture I liked when I picked it up at a flea market plant sale. Its deep lobed variegated leaves are marked with freshly spilt milky white splotches. As fall arrives, perfectly round turquoise berries cluster and sparkle among them, like jewels on lace. Its curly tendrils hug the trellis, clinging fast even in winter when the vine is woody and leafless.
The Latin name for the porcelain berry vine is Ampelopsis brevipedunculata. But frustrated internet gardeners and arboretums have another name for the plant – “evil.” In some conditions it may become “rampant and out of control,” choking trees and shrubs as it tries to rob them of their nutrients and water. How invasive!
I am not going to change my opinion of my porcelain berry vine. It seems to be happy in its place, growing with a modest amount of control, and continuing to look small and nice.


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