Nekemias arborea

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(Redirected from Ampelopsis arborea)

Pepper vine
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Vitales
Family: Vitaceae
Genus: Nekemias
N. arborea
Binomial name
Nekemias arborea
(L.) J.Wen & Boggan

Nekemias arborea, commonly known as pepper vine, is native to the Southeastern United States, Texas, and New Mexico. It spreads rapidly, climbing up trees and bushes.[1] It prefers moist soils such as stream banks, and disturbed areas.[2]


A deciduous to semi-evergreen vine that can be ground cover-like, but is often high-climbing and bushy. Grows 35 ft. or more.[3]
Leaves are alternate, bi-pinnately divided and up to 6 inches long and wide. There are 1-3 pairs of leaflets. They are roughly ovate and coarsely toothed, dark green on the upper surface, lighter on the lower. Newly emerged leaves are purple-red and change to a light green to dark green as they reach mature size. Foliage turns pale yellow or red in fall.[2]
Flat-topped clusters of tiny, green flowers are followed by clusters of pea-sized, bluish-purple berries. Fruit fleshy, up to 5/8 inch in diameter, black and shiny when ripe. Fruit attractive to wildlife but possibly poisonous for humans.[2][3]
When young, the leaves of nekemias arborea (pepper vine) are a deep red color.


Its synonyms include: Ampelopsis arborea (L.) Koehne, Ampelopsis bipinnata Michx., Ampelopsis pinnata DC., Cissus arborea (L.) Des Moul., Cissus bipinnata Elliott, Cissus orientalis Lam., Cissus stans Pers., Hedera arborea (L.) Walter, Nekemias bipinnata Raf., Vitis arborea L., Vitis bipinnata Torr. & A.Gray, and Vitis orientalis (Lam.) Boiss.


Nekemias arborea is used as an ornamental plant in gardens.


  1. ^ USDA . accessed 10/10/2010
  2. ^ a b c "Ampelopsis arborea (Buckvine, Cow Itch, Peppervine, Pepper Vine) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox". Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  3. ^ a b "Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin". Retrieved 2022-07-14.

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