Vitis cognetiae – Crimson Glory Vine
Large rounded leaves which turn fiery shades of red, gold and orange in autumn.
This is a vigorous, deciduous climbing vine that can reach 20M. The flowers are insignificant and though the same genus as the old world vineyard wine the grapes of V. cognetiae are bitter and not wine-worthy. You grow this plant for the fiery display of autumn colour. The leaves are a dark green during the summer, and, to produce the best colour, they need to be in full sun.
Vitis cognetiae comes from Japan, Korea and the Russian Far East. It was originally brough back to Europe in the late 19th Century by plant hunters looking for phylloxera resistance vines for vineyard breeding. When it was found to have no phylloxera resistance and miserable grapes it was discarded, being rediscovered in the late 20th Century as a garden worthy plant. It now holds the UK RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Soil / Aspect:
V. cognetiae actually prefers neutral to alkaline soil, so not an automatic fit for coastal Tasman. However, grown near to a wall where the lime in the mortar and in any rubble used in the foundations will do enough, this is a robust plant that can thrive in Karin’s Garden.
It is hardly practical to prune this to a particular space. You really have to let it do its thing, which basically means letting it grow up a substantial tree. It can suffer from powdery mildew, but there is nothing you can do about that, on a plant of this size. So just sit back and enjoy the autumn fireworks.