Canyon Grape

Vitis arizonica

Vitis arizonica, Canyon Grape, Pen & Ink © by Michael Plagens

Illustrated from a specimen found in Sabino Canyon, Sta. Catalina Mts., Pima County, Arizona, USA.

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VINE: The vines will be found rambling up into trees and shrubs in sycamore woodlands. Forked tendrils help this climber up.

LEAVES: Broad, rounded leaves are shiny when young with distinct teeth along the margins.

RANGE: Deep shady canyons where sycamores grow are normally favorable to Canyon Grape. Strictly riparian, but fairly common in that setting in canyons mostly above 800 m elevation.

FRUIT: Small grapes turn blue-black when ripe but remain bitter to the human taste. Birds, however, are very fond of them. Birds subsequently disperse the seeds in their droppings.

FLOWERS: Cluster of small greenish-yellow flowers without petals.


flowers of Vitis arizonica

Vitaceae -- Grape Vine Family

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Vitis arizonica, Canyon Grape, Photo © by Michael Plagens

The grapes, together with the tough seeds inside, are avidly eaten by many kinds of birds. Later, the seeds will be passed in their feces and thereby be dispersed. The leaves are fed upon by a variety of insects including the grape leaf skeletonizer. Piercing-sucking insects such as leafhoppers take sap from growing stems. Follow the thumb links below for more information about each animal:

Grape Leaf Skeletonizer   Summer Tanager   Phainopepla   Northern Cardinal  Sibovia Cicadellidae  Grape Phylloxera

Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
The Flora of Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 20 July 2010,
Updated 10 July 2016.