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Vitis cinerea

One of around 30 American species or wild vines with the botanical name Vitis cinerea Engelm. ex Millardet. It is similar to the species Vitis aestivalis and in the 19th century the two were still equated or cinerea was regarded as a variety of aestivalis. It was not until 1880 that the German botanist Georg Engelmann (1809-1884) categorised Vitis cinerea as an independent species. This is why both Georg Engelmann and the French phylloxera pioneer Alexis Millardet (1838-1902) are cited in the botanical name. Today, the species is subdivided into the following varieties:

  • Vitis cinerea var. baileyana
  • Vitis cinerea var. canescens (disputed as a variety)
  • Vitis cinerea var. cinerea
  • Vitis cinerea var. floridana
  • Vitis cinerea var. helleri (formerly listed as an independent species Vitis berlandieri )
  • Vitis cinerea var. tomentosa

Trivial synonyms are Ashy Grape, Ashy-leaved Grape, Downy Grape, Graybark Grape Sweet Winter Grape, Parra Silvestre, Vigne à Feuille de Clématite, Winter Grape and Wichita. The colour-related names refer to the typical pale grey colour of the young leaves and shoots, which is why one German name is Graurinden-Rebe. The vine is found in the south-east of the USA and grows wild in alluvial forests, along riverbanks and on fences.

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