Wild grapes are perennial climbing or trailing vines. Distinguishing characteristics include large leaves with veins extending like fingers from the point where leaf and leaf stalk (petiole) join, forked tendrils that persist becoming dark and brittle over time, shredding bark, and fruits that are smaller than but similar in appearance to commercially available grapes. Reproduction is by seeds, and stems sprout readily if cut.
Root system - Roots are generally woody and often live for years.
Stems - Stems have brown bark that appears shredded and falls off in strips.
Leaves - Leaves are alternate (1 leaf per node), 2 to 5 inches long, wide, and have toothed edges. Leaf veins radiate out like fingers on a hand from the point on the leaf where it attaches to the petiole. Leaves may or may not be lobed. If lobed, they usually have 3 parts. Although specific leaf shapes and characteristics vary among species, wild grape leaves are generally maple-leaf or heart shaped.
Flowers - Greenish flowers form in long clusters.
Fruits & Seeds - Fruits consists of clusters of purplish-black berries that are smaller in size and less sweet than fruits of cultivated grapes.