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Silverleaf Grape is the only native wild grape in Illinois with leaf undersides that are bright white, hairless, and glaucous. The more common typical variety, Vitis aestivalis aestivalis (Summer Grape), has leaf undersides with appressed woolly hairs. In form, the leaves of Silverleaf Grape resemble those of Vitis palmata (Catbird Grape), which is restricted to southern Illinois. Catbird Grape, however, has leaf undersides that are light green and glabrous; they are never bright white and glaucous. Another native species, Vitis cinerea (Winter Grape), often has leaves with bright white undersides. However, this is the result of fine woolly hairs that are bright white. Unlike Silverleaf Grape, Winter Grape never has deeply lobed leaves. Another scientific name of Silverleaf Grape, Vitis aestivalis argentifolia, is sometimes used, but it is a junior synonym. Silverleaf Grape was originally regarded as a distinct species, Vitis bicolor.


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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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