Scientific name: Vitis mustangensis
What: fruits, leaves, young tendrils
How: fruit raw (very tart), cooked, dried, preserves, wine; leaves and tendrils cooked,
Where: Edges of woods. Mustang grape leaves are fuzzy and have a white underside.
Nutritional Value: calories, antioxidants
Other uses: water can be obtained from the vines (see technique in grapes- muscadine post), wild yeast from the fruit
Dangers: Mustang grapes are very acidic and handling/eating large amounts of the raw fruit can cause burns to hands and mouth.
Mustang grape vine with unripe fruit. Note that the top of the leaves are green while their underside is white/gray. Both sides of the leaf are fuzzy to the touch.
Almost-ripe Mustang grapes.
Mustanf grape leaves start out deeply lobed but over the summer the lobes fill in until the leaf is shaped like the traditional grape leaf.
The lobed leaves can get quite large before filling in, depending on growing conditions.
Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.
North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Mustang grapes are the first to ripen in the summer here in Texas. They have a thick skin surrounding a very tart, gelatinous inner. This tartness makes them unpleasant to eat raw and are better if made into jam/jelly or wine. When making jelly include some skins of green/unripe grapes as a source of pectin.