Scientific name: Ampelopsis arborea
What: ripe berries (black)
How: cooked, wine
Where: woods, borders
When: late summer, fall
Nutritional Value: low in carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins
Dangers: Some people have reported throat issues and stomach upset after eating peppervine fruit. Limit yourself to small servings until you know how your body will react.
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.
The berries are ripe when they are black. Most people consider these berries somewhat sweet and grape-tasting tasting but get a weird tickle in the back of their throat after eating one or more berries. This tickle is actually due to tiny needles of calcium oxalate which are defensive measure of the Peppervine. Excessive consumption of calcium oxalate will result in chemical burns in your throat and possibly nasty kidney stones. Drying the berries or cooking them will help remove some of these oxalates. Making wine from them may also work.