Porcelain Berry – Amplopsis brevipedunculatae

Porcelainberries
Porcelainberries

Yie pu tao teng is a vigorous, woody, perennial vine that is originally from the Orient, namely China, Korea, far eastern Russia, and Japan. It was originally cultivated in North America around the 1870s as a bedding and landscape plant, where it quickly escaped from cultivation.

Clusters of shiny, hard berries follow the flowers, in various shades of white, yellow, lilac, or green. Mature fruits are a bright turquoise blue. All of these colors may be present at the same time. Which is part of the reason it was introduced to America in the 1800’s as an ornamental.

It has become invasive in 11 eastern states. Those states include Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

In folk medicine the stems and root were used as an anti-inflammatory and diuretic. In Japan it has been used for medicine for centuries.

The leaf buds, leaves, and stem are cooked and used for food. The berries are not very palatable, but edible. They are seemingly good survival food. The fruit hang in bunches much like grapes, and small only 6-8mm in diameter.

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