Canyon grape: Vitis arizonica
"Throughout the centuries, in literature and in art, the grape has been a symbol of revelry and joy, and contributed to many a bacchanalian bash. Our canyon grape is no exception." Thus, Elmore (1976) introduces Vitis arizonica, commonly called Arizona or canyon grape. There's plenty more in the description to delight the plant lover. Canyon grape is a showy plant that enlivens the canyons with its large, brilliant green leaves. Photographed in 2000 along the Big Tubes hike.
More information and pictures:
Closer view of leaves and newly emerging flowers of Vitis arizonica, commonly called Arizona or canyon grape. Photographed at Oliver Lee State Park on 2 April 2006.
The newly emerging, tight cluster of flowers you see here will eventually lose their "petal-cap" to reveal the stamens (Elmore, 1976). Female and male flowers occur on different plants (Foxx and Hoard, 1984), although Carter (1997) says that the flowers can be either unisexual or bisexual.
Closer view of tendrils of Vitis arizonica, photographed at Oliver Lee State Park on 2 April 2006.
Foxx and Hoard (1984) note early reports that Indian pueblo peoples used the grape either dried or fresh as a food source. Here you see the dark blue-black grapes. Interesting fact: "If carefully arranged, grapes can cause electrical arcing in microwave ovens." (Wikipedia, accessed 7 January 2007.)
Where we have seen this plant:
|Carter, Jack L. 1997. Trees and Shrubs of New Mexico. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books, Distributor|
|Common Southwestern Native Plants: An Identification Guide (Paperback) by Jack L. Carter, Martha A. Carter, Donna J. Stevens, Mimbres Press (October 2003)|
|Flowering Plants of New Mexico by Robert Dewitt Ivey, Self-published, (1996)|
|Flowers of the Southwestern Forests and Woodlands by Teralene S. Foxx, Dorothy Hoard, University of New Mexico Press (January 1985)|
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