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Vitis coignetiae

Vitis coignetiae

Vitis coignetiae AGM is Harlow Carr’s Plant of the Month this October. You can find this giant grape growing up the trees near to the Observation Beehive by the Study Centre. It has tremendous autumn colour, so you won’t miss it!

Vital statistics

Common name
Crimson glory vine, grape vine
Family
Vitaceae
Height & spread
15m (50ft) high
Form
Woody deciduous climber
Soil
Well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil
Aspect
Full sun or semi-shade
Hardiness
Fully hardy

Vitis

This is a genus of 65 species of woody, deciduous tendril climbers, occasionally shrubs, occurring in woodland, woodland margins and thickets in northern temperate regions.

They have flaking bark and alternate, simple to lobed, sometimes toothed leaves.

Tiny green flowers are produced in panicles from the leaf axils in summer, and are followed by fruits (grapes), which in some species are edible or are used to make wine.

The ornamental vines are cultivated for their foliage and fruits.

Vitis coignetiae

The crimson glory vine is a fast-growing, deciduous climber with large, heart-shaped, shallowly lobed, dark green leaves which turn bright red in autumn. Small, blue-black grape-like fruits appear in autumn.

It does well trained against a wall or over a trellis, or through a large tree.

Cultivation

  • Grow in well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil, in sun or semi-shade. Autumn colour is best on poor soils. 
  • Pinch out the growing tips after planting and allow the strongest shoots to form a permanent framework.
  • Prune back to this framework each year in mid-winter.
  • Vitis may be affected be powdery mildew and honey fungus.

Propagation

  • Sow seed in containers in a cold frame in autumn or spring.
  • Take hardwood cuttings in late winter, or root “vine eye” cuttings (with a single bud) in early spring.
  • Layer in autumn.

AGM

The RHS Woody Plant Committee awarded Vitis coignetiae an Award of Garden Merit and described it as:

"Very strong-growing, large deciduous tendril-climber with slightly lobed, broad-ovate leaves to 30cm long, turning scarlet and crimson in autumn. Insignificant flowers and small, black berries."

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