USDA PLANTS Symbol: AMBR7
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Amur peppervine is a deciduous, woody vine that climbs to heights of more than 20 ft. (6.1 m). It has become a serious invader of the eastern United States and closely resembles native species of grape. These branched tendril-bearing, woody vines (native grapes have unbranched tendrils) have lenticels and white piths that are continuous across the nodes. The alternate leaves are simple and heart-shaped with coarse teeth along the margins. The leaves vary from slightly lobed to deeply dissected. Flowering occurs in mid-summer, when greenish to white, inconspicuous flowers develop in small clusters. Fruits are small berries that range from yellow to purple to blue in color. Amur peppervine prefers moist, rich soils and can thrive in a wide range of light availability. It invades streambanks, pond margins, forest edges and other disturbed areas. The thick mats formed by this climbing vine can cover and shade out native shrubs and young trees. It spreads very quickly since birds and mammals eat and thus disperse the seeds. Amur peppervine is native to Japan and northern China. It was first introduced into the United States in 1870 as an ornamental and landscaping plant.