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Virginia creeper
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A species of Parthenocissus, Also known as Victoria Creeper, Five-leaved ivy, Five-finger
Botanical name : Parthenocissus quinquefolia Genus : Parthenocissus

Virginia creeper, A species of Parthenocissus
Also known as:
Victoria Creeper, Five-leaved ivy, Five-finger
Botanical name: Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Genus: Parthenocissus
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Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Description

The virginia creeper is a North American vine from the grape family that has it all - vigorous growth, fragrant flowers, decorative blue-colored berries, and leaves that turn crimson in the fall. Using small forked tendrils with adhesive pads, the virginia creeper will cling strongly to almost all surfaces. It can grow over entire walls, providing shelter and food for wildlife.
Plant Type
Vine
Bloom Time
Early summer
Flower Color
Green
White
Yellow
Leaf Color
Green
Red
Orange
* Disclaimer: Content feedback CAN NOT be used as any basis for EATING ANY PLANTS. Some plants can be VERY POISONOUS, please purchase edible plants through regular channels.

General Info

Name story

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia has a strong climbing capability and is often seen covering entire walls, sometimes even enveloping an entire house. Its genus name, Parthenocissus, originates from the Greek language, meaning "virgin ivy". Now, it is more commonly known as the virginia creeper.
Five-leaved ivy
Its leaves are shaped similarly to a wide-open hand with five fingers. Furthermore, the species epithet for the plant 'Quinquefolia' means "five-leaved", which gives birth to the name, Five-leaved ivy.
Woodbine
Ordinarily, people would identify several different climbing plants as woodbine, with this being a common name for many species. However, when woodbine is referred to in North America, it is most likely the Parthenocissus quinquefolia being discussed.

Symbolism

Marriage, friendship, fidelity, tenacity, indirect progress, protection through concealment,
intellectual or athletic achievement

Usages

Artistic Value
Foliage provides a stunning show of color in the fall.
Environmental Protection Value
Purifies the air, removing toxins and other harmful impurities.
Garden Use
Virginia creeper is a deciduous woody vine commonly found in gardens. It is prized for its colorful red foliage in autumn. Its spreading habit makes it suitable for erosion control and ground cover; whilst its large leaves are good for screening. Virginia creeper is essential in pollinator gardens. Plant with flowering creepers such as Clematis or Climbing Rose for aesthetic contrast.

Is virginia creeper a toxic weed?

Virginia creeper is officially listed as invasive in Europe, China, and Cuba, is considered an environmental weed in Australia, and “aggressive” outside of its native range in the US. Virginia creeper is a weed that climbs prolifically. It has an impressive growth rate and is known to adhere to various surfaces with great strength. The attractive looks, modest demands, and the ability to quickly cover vertical surfaces made this vine a favorite in gardens throughout the temperate world. However, this aggressive growth meant that the weed turned into quite a problem. Although virginia creeper's flowers are small and unsightly, the berries are dark blue and decorative; they are an important autumn food for birds, but they are toxic to humans and pets.

Is it a Weed?

Virginia creeper is a deciduous woody vine, highly adaptive to different environments. Virginia creeper grows fast and forms a dense cover that can block the sunlight, affecting the growth of other plants. The native virginia creeper is found throughout Illinois. It inhabits forest boundaries, fences, abandoned railroads, and the walls of buildings, sometimes disrupting people's lives.

Toxicity

The risk of erroneous ingestion is low before virginia creeper bears fruit. But when the fruit matures, it is easy to attract children to eat it because its fruit is similar to grapes. With low toxicity, it contains needle crystals of oxalic acid. The crystals are sharp and can easily penetrate and destroy cells, leading to cell lysis. Erroneous ingestion can stimulate the oral and gastrointestinal system, resulting in severe swelling and pain of the mouth and throat, dysphagia, diarrhea and other symptoms. Contact with sap from virginia creeper may cause allergies or rashes. In addition, this plant may contain other toxic substances. It is reported that eating fruit can cause death in children. If eat or touch its fruit or sap, it is advised to rinse your mouth or wash the affected area with clean, cold water.
If severe poisoning symptoms occur after erroneous ingestion, consult a doctor immediately.

Toxicity in Animals

Pets may also eat the fruit of virginia creeper by mistake, causing symptoms such as vomiting and drooling. Its fruit is non-toxic to many birds and is an important food source for many birds in winter. It is advised to wash pets' tongue and mouth with water if they eat in small amounts by mistake. If pets have severe symptoms of poisoning, they need to be taken to the pet hospital.

Environmental Threats

Virginia creeper is an invasive weed native to eastern and central North America. It has become a naturalized species in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. It is also an invasive species in China, Italy, Australia and other countries.

How to Control it

The best time to remove is before bearing fruits.
  1. Pulling out: Grasp the root of virginia creeper by hand, pull it out, and remove the root left in the soil to prevent it from growing again. Then clean up the twined stem. Its stem often twines on other plants. Please handle it carefully. 
  2. Uprooting: If it grows very big, please dig out its roots with the help of tools. 
  3. Pruning: Use sharp gardening scissors to cut off its stem, and trim as close to the ground as possible.
  4. Chemical control: Choosing targeted herbicides with multiple applications can effectively control virginia creeper
  5. Burning: If it's not climbing on something else that's flammable, it is advised to burn it with fire. Fire can be an effective way of controlling this plant. 

Related Articles

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Scientific Classification

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