Scientific Name: Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Common Name: Virginia creeper

Other Common Names: American ivy, woodbine, fiveleaved ivy

Synonyms: Ampelopsis hederacea var. murorum, Ampelopsis latifolia, Ampelopsis quinquefolia, Hedera quinquefolia, Parthenocissus hirsuta. Parthenocissus inserta, Parthenocissus quinquefolia var. hirsuta, Parthenocissus quinquefolia var. murorum, Parthenocissus quinquefolia var. saintpaulii, Psedera quinquefolia, Psedera quinquefolia var. murorum, Vitis inserta, Vitis quinquefolia

Habit: This climbing perennial vine flowers from June through August. It spreads by rooting at the nodes of the vines, and also by seed dispersal. The vine can grow up to 30 m in length when growing along the ground.

Leaves: The compound leaves are composed of 3 to 7 leaflets, usually 5. The leaflets have toothed margins, and turn red to maroon in the fall. Each ovate leaflet grows on long petioles, and can grow from 4-15 cm long.

Identifying Characteristics: This plant is often confused with poison ivy, but can be distinguished by its 5 leaflets that originate from a single point.

Flower Seed Head: The small greenish white flowers grow in terminal clusters. Each flower has 5 petals that are 2-3 mm long.

Seed Fruit: The fruit are dark blue or black, grape-like berries. These waxy berries are poisonous to humans. Each berry will contain 1 to 3 brown seeds, 3 to 4 mm in diameter.

Where Found: This plant can grow in both moist and dry locations. It can often be found along forests, growing in trees, and in fences.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Vine

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Vitaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: lance; oval

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: lobed; entire; serrated

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: white; green

  • Growth habit: vine

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: trifoliate; pinnate

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs

  • Flower diameter: pencil; dime

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Root structure: rhizomes present; fibrous

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf; longer than leaf