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Desert Wild Grape Back to Plant Page
Vitis girdiana

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About Desert Wild Grape (Vitis girdiana) Desert Wild Grape is a native vine or shrub that grows in southern California. It tends to grow in streamsides, at elevations from 0-4100 feet, but it is found in more arid areas than its close cousin, Vitis californica. It grows in southern oak woodlands, coastal sage scrub, pinyon-juniper woodland, joshua tree woodland, and riparian habitats. In the wild it tends to climb over other plants with stems reaching up to 50 ft. In the garden it can be trained to climb up a trellis, fence or wall. It is deciduous and is leafless for several months every year. The flowers are inconspicuous, followed by the edible fruits which attract many birds. It may not fruit reliably if too close to the coast.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub, Vine

Max. Height
10 - 50 ft (3 - 15.2 m)



Growth Rate

Winter Deciduous

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Streamsides, springs, canyons

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
17' - 5937'

Annual Precip. ?
2.8" - 39.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.17" - 2.54"

Coldest Month ?
38.6° F - 59.3° F

Hottest Month ?
63.1° F - 88.6° F

Humidity ?
1.14 vpd - 45.66 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Sunset Zones ?
4, 5, 6, 7*, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11*, 12*, 13*, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Oaks (Quercus species), Sycamore (Platanus racemosa), SaltMarsh Fleabane (Pluchea odorata), Willow (Salix species), Wild Rose (Rosa californica), Rush (Juncus species), and Willow Baccharis (Baccharis salicina)

Wildlife Attracted
Numerous birds and mammals are attracted to the fruit

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Low, Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Prune to train in winter when it is leafless. In spring and summer, wayward stems can be pruned off at any time.

Propagation ?
Seed or cuttings

Common uses
Groundcovers, Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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