Description from Flora of China
Ampelovitis Carrière; Spinovitis Romanet du Caillaud.
Lianas, woody, usually polygamo-dioecious, rarely hermaphroditic. Bark usually shedding; tendrils leaf-opposed, usually bifurcate. Leaves simple, often lobed, sometimes palmately compound; stipules usually caducous. Inflorescence a thyrse. Flowers 5-merous. Calyx saucer-shaped; sepals minute. Petals united at apex and shed as a cap (calyptra) at anthesis. Stamens opposite to petals, undeveloped and abortive in female flowers. Disk conspicuous, 5-lobed or ring-shaped. Pistil 1; style slender; stigma slightly expanded. Berry globose, 2-4-seeded. Seeds obovoid or obovoid-elliptic, base rostrate, abaxially 1-furrowed with a rounded or suborbicular or elliptic chalazal knot, adaxially 2-furrowed; endosperm M-shaped in cross-section.
Vitis vinifera Linnaeus, the well-known source plant for grapes and wine, has a long history of cultivation all over the world. The wild grape species are primarily distributed in three centers of diversity: East Asia, North to Central America, and Europe to Central Asia. In China, Vitis occurs naturally in all provinces except Xinjiang, Qinghai, Nei Mongol, and Ningxia. The roots, stems, and leaves of several wild species are used as medicine; the berries are edible or used to make wine; and the seeds are sometimes used for oil.
Vitis chrysobotrys H. Léveillé & Vaniot (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 3: 350. 1907) is a synonym of Iodes vitiginea (Hance) Hemsley, and V. seguinii H. Léveillé (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 4: 331. 1907, "seguini") is the basionym of I. seguinii (H. Léveillé) Rehder, both in the Icacinaceae (see Fl. China 11).
Vitis mairei H. Léveillé (Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 11: 299. 1912, not 7: 338. 1909) and V. martini H. Léveillé & Vaniot (Bull. Soc. Agric. Sarthe 40: 41. 1905) are synonyms of Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Thunberg) Makino in the Cucurbitaceae (see Fl. China 19).
The following species were described from China but could not be treated here because no material was seen by the authors:
Vitis adenoclada Handel-Mazzetti (Anz. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. 62: 145. 1925), described from Hunan.
Vitis jinzhainensis X. S. Shen (Acta Phytotax. Sin. 27: 304. 1989), described from Anhui.
Vitis shifunensis Hayata (Icon. Pl. Formosan. 5: 31. 1915; V. triphylla Hayata, J. Coll. Sci. Imp. Univ. Tokyo 30(1): 63. 1911, not Noronha, 1790), described from Taiwan.
Vitis yuenlingensis W. T. Wang (Bull. Bot. Res., Harbin 9(1): 75. 1989), described from Hunan.
About 60 species: mostly in temperate regions, extending to the subtropics with the species diversity primarily in China and E North America; 37 species (30 endemic, one introduced) in China.
(Authors: Ren Hui (任辉); Jun Wen (文军))