Porcelain Berry

Porcelain berry is one of the invasive species that the State of Maryland currently considers the most troublesome. Learn more below.

Porcelain Berry
Just Chaos, “Porcelain Berry,” October 1, 2010 via Flickr,
Creative Commons Attribution.

Description

According to the Maryland Invasive Species Council's Porcelainberry page, many people mistake porcelain berry vines for grape vines. The two species look very much alike. The main difference in appearance is that porcelain berry vines bear hard little berries that range in color from white to deep purple. And porcelain berry vines can grow very tall, very fast.

The Threat

Porcelain berry vines twine around fences and tall trees, using tough forked tendrils to wrap tightly around tree branches, other vines, and sometimes, even itself. According to MISC, porcelain berry "forms dense green mats as it out-competes our native species for light, water, and nutrients." And according to the Plant Conservation Alliance's Porcelainberry page, porcelain berry vines can grow up to 15 feet high in a single growing season.

Control and Removal

The Alliance recommends pulling the plants down before they fruit. The plants can also be pulled down in the fall, before the next season's flowers have a chance to set. Because of the vines' height and their tendency to twine, pulling may be quite difficult to do. In those cases, the Alliance recommends treating the plants with a systemic herbacide such as Roundup®. Volunteers should take care not to destroy native grape vines in the process, because those vines are quite beneficial to birds and other native species.