Porcelain-berry is a deciduous, woody, perennial vine. It twines with the help of non-adhesive tendrils that occur opposite the leaves and closely resembles native grapes. The inconspicuous, greenish-white flowers with "free" petals occur in cymes opposite the leaves from June through August (in contrast to grape species that have flowers with petals that touch at tips and occur in panicles.) The fruits appear in September-October and are colorful, changing from pale lilac, to green, to a bright blue.
Porcelain-berry grows well in most soils, especially forest edges, pond margins, stream banks, thickets, and waste places, where there is full sunlight to partial shade, and where it is not permanently wet. Porcelain-berry appears to be less tolerant of heavily shaded areas, such as that found in mature forest interiors.
Porcelain-berry is a vigorous invader of open and wooded habitats. It grows and spreads quickly in areas with high to moderate light. As it spreads, it climbs over shrubs and other vegetation, shading out native plants and consuming habitat. Birds and Mammals love the berries. The fresh fruits, roots and leaves are antiphlogistic, depurative and febrifuge. Resolves clots. It is used externally in the treatment of boils, abscesses and ulcers, traumatic bruises and aches. Leaf buds - cooked. Leaves and stems - cooked. Fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit is 6 - 8mm in diameter and is carried in small bunches like grapes. Not very palatable.