Porcelain-berry in early autumn

Porcelain berry is similar in appearance to wild grape except that the pith (center of the vine) of porcelain berry is solid white; its mature bark does not peel; the berry colors may be white, yellow, lilac, turquoise, green or pink, eventually turning dark blue; the leaves are generally small with deep lobes, and the best indicator: the underside of the porcelain berry leaf is always glossy.

The glossy underside of a true leaf seedling in summer.

The porcelain berry vine is a new invasive to Long Island. Cotyledons, the first two leaves to appear from a germinating seed, resemble wild grape and Virginia creeper but the underside of the first true porcelain berry leaf is glossy.

These vines often run along the ground where they may root wherever the nodes make contact. At a minimum,  the root crown must be uprooted. When vines not bearing berries are cut above ground they can remain on the host tree or shrub to dry.  Once in bloom or with berries, they must be removed and disposed of.

The root of this porcelain berry vine is 12 feet long and the crown is at Kate’s shoulder.

Pull roots with linesman pliers for smaller plants and dig, using a pick ax, Pulaski ax or mattock to uproot large root crowns — although some of the roots leading away from the crown may remain in the ground.  Since any portion of the root crown will re-root at a node when left on bare ground, the root crown should be bagged and disposed of.

Porcelain-berry seedling in late fall.
Porcelain-berry seedlings in late fall.

Check on regrowth semi-monthly and, with linesman pliers, remove suckers and seedlings in the area as they emerge.