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Photo: Vitis aestivalis

Vitis aestivalis Michx.

Summer Grape

Habitat: Dry woods and thickets. [Hardwood to mixed forest (forest, upland); Rocky summits and outcrops (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Southern New Hampshire to Florida, west to southern Ontario, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Texas. First discovered in Maine in 1974.

Aids to Identification: Summer grape, like other grapes, climbs by tendrils and has palmately lobed leaves. It can be distinguished from other grapes found in Maine by the leaf undersides, which are white due to a bloom. It is this characteristic which earns this variety its alternative name, silverleaf grape. It also has tendrils produced from no more than two successive nodes and low teeth on the leaf, usually < 5 mm long.

Ecological characteristics: Ecological relationships in Maine are not well known.

Phenology: Flowers May - June; fruits ripen September - October.

Family: Vitaceae

Synonyms: Represented in Maine by the variety bicolor Deam.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 7 town(s) in the following county(ies): Cumberland, Oxford, York.

Dates of documented observations are: 1975, 1985, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2001 (4)

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of its range.

Conservation considerations: This plant is restricted statewide to southern Maine, and known populations are vulnerable to conversion of their habitat to residential or commercial use.