Vitis riparia (Fr: vigne des rivages | En: Riverbank grape)
Our regions native grape is must have for any food forest. These delicious grapes can be harvested at the end of fall (preferably after the first frost, they are sometimes referred to as frost grapes). I prefer to process these grapes into juice and jellies, but I do eat the grapes and find they are the only grape where I enjoy eating the seed. The leaves can also be harvested and used for food as well.
If you don't eat all the berries, the birds certainly will throughout the winter. In the wild, these grapes will grow 10 + meters in a tree and feed many birds throughout the winter. The leaves are also incredibly important for several of our native butterflies and beetles, including my favourite beetle, the Grapevine beetle (Pelidnota punctata). It is an immensely important plant and a great choice for adding another dimension to your garden by letting it grow around a trellis or even a tree, they seldom kill trees.
Habitat: River banks, wet forests, mesic forests
Sun requirements: full sun, part shade
Moisture requirements: moderate
Soil requirements: prefers rich soil