Mém. Soc. Sci. Phys. Nat. Bordeaux, sér. 2, 3: 319, 336. 1880.
Plants high climbing, sparsely branched. Branches: bark exfoliating in shreds; nodal diaphragms 1.5–3.5 mm thick; branchlets slightly to distinctly angled, densely hirtellous and/or sparsely to densely arachnoid, to glabrate, growing tips not enveloped by unfolding leaves; tendrils along length of branchlets, persistent, branched, tendrils (or inflorescences) at only 2 consecutive nodes; nodes sometimes red-banded. Leaves: stipules 1–3 mm; petiole ± equaling blade; blade cordate, 6–20 cm, usually unlobed to 3-shouldered, sometimes 3-lobed, apex acute to acuminate, abaxial surface not glaucous, sparsely to densely arachnoid or glabrous, visible through hairs, veins and vein axils hirtellous, adaxial surface glabrous or hairy. Inflorescences 10–25 cm. Flowers functionally unisexual. Berries black, slightly or not glaucous, globose, 4–8 mm diam., skin separating from pulp, lenticels absent.
Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Md., Miss., Mo., N.C., Nebr., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va., ne Mexico.
Varieties 5 (4 in the flora).
Vitis cinerea var. tomentosa (Planchon) Comeaux is endemic to northeastern Mexico (B. L. Comeaux and J. Lu 2000).
Vitis cinerea is sometimes confused with V. aestivalis; see the discussion under that species. Vitis cinerea as defined here is highly variable and is in need of field studies and phylogeographic analysis, along with its tropical relatives V. biforma Rose and V. tiliifolia. Wan Y. et al. (2013) concluded that V. cinerea is not monophyletic.
|1||Berries moderately to heavily glaucous; leaf blade abaxial surface sparsely hirtellous and arachnoid or glabrate.||Vitis cinerea var. helleri|
|1||Berries slightly glaucous; leaf blade abaxial surface sparsely to densely arachnoid, sparsely to moderately hirtellous, or glabrous.||> 2|
|2||Branchlets densely hirtellous and arachnoid; leaf blade abaxial surface moderately arachnoid and hirtellous.||Vitis cinerea var. cinerea|
|2||Branchlets sparsely to densely arachnoid, not evidently hirtellous; leaf blade abaxial surface sparsely to densely arachnoid, not, or sometimes very sparsely, hirtellous.||> 3|
|3||Branchlets sparsely to densely arachnoid; nodes usually not red-banded, sometimes so; leaf blade abaxial surface sparsely to densely arachnoid; se Coastal Plain.||Vitis cinerea var. floridana|
|3||Branchlets sparsely arachnoid, becoming glabrate; nodes usually red-banded; leaf abaxial surface glabrous or sparsely arachnoid; Piedmont and mountains.||Vitis cinerea var. baileyana|