Native Range: Eastern Asia. Porcelain Berry vines were first brought to this country as an ornamental ground cover in the 1870s.
Height: 15-20 foot vine
Form: Woody, Perennial vine. Blooms in June, beautiful bluish, teal, or purple berries in fall. (Not to be confused with “Mile-a-Minute vine, Persicaria perfoliata, an herbaceous vine which also has blueberries)
Growth Rate: Rapid
Sun: This plant is not tolerant of heavily shaded areas such as mature forest interiors, instead preferring full to partial sun. Porcelain berry grows well in a wide variety of soil types, especially thriving in forest edges, thickets, river and pond banks, and woodland openings.
Dispersal: Root sprouts, birds, and deer consuming fruits
Porcelain berry overtakes other vegetation and can shade out native shrubs and trees. It can form thick monocultures which reduce species diversity and wildlife habitat. Related to grapes, this plant is now banned in states ranging from Massachusetts to Minnesota, although still legal in New Jersey. The fruits are edible for humans but are described as “slimy and bland”.1 These vines are widespread in New Jersey and are regarded as highly threatening. With deep roots, control can consist of cutting the stems, treating them with herbicides3, encouraging Japanese Beetles to feed on their leaves, and removing the fruits to prevent birds and deer from spreading the seeds to other locations. This vine is widespread on the East Coast and it has become a problem in the southeastern states. It is now slowly spreading westward and has been found in recent years in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.