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Virginia Creeper

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Description:

A woody, dedicuous vine, Virginia Creeper can be high-climbing or trailing, 3-40 ft.; the structure on which it climbs is the limiting factor. Virginia Creeper climbs by means of tendrils with disks that fasten onto bark or rock. Its leaves, with 5 leaflets, occasionally 3 or 7, radiating from the tip of the petiole, coarsely toothed, with a pointed tip, and tapered to the base, up to 6 inches long. Leaves provide early fall color, turning brilliant mauve, red and purple. Inconspicuous flowers small, greenish, in clusters, appearing in spring. Fruit bluish, about 1/4 inch in diameter.

Habitat:

Soil Description: Moist, well-drained soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Rocky, Limestone-based Caliche type. Tolerates most soils and climatic conditions. Native habitat is chaparral & brush country, open woodlands, shaded woods, streamsides, riverbanks. This one was photographed at Brick Pond Park in North Augusta (Aiken County), SC.

Notes:

In years past, children learned a rhyme to help distinguish Virginia Creeper from the somewhat similar-looking and highly toxic Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans): Leaves of three, let it be; Leaves of five, let it thrive. Poison Ivy leaflets are normally in groups of three, while those of Virginia Creeper are in groups of five. POISONOUS PARTS: Berries. Highly Toxic, May be Fatal if Eaten! Symptoms include nausea, abdominal pain, bloody vomiting and diarrhea, dilated pupils, headache, sweating, weak pulse, drowsiness, twitching of face. Toxic Principle: Oxalic acid and possibly others. Also, the plants tissues contain raphides, which can irritate the skin of some people. It is far less likely to irritate, and less irritating than, Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), though, which it somewhat resembles and with which it is often confused.

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1 Comment

Kris F
Kris F 7 years ago

This stuff breaks me out...

KenCheeks
Spotted by
KenCheeks

North Augusta, South Carolina, USA

Spotted on Sep 16, 2012
Submitted on Mar 24, 2013

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