Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
Ampelopsis hederacea (Ehrh.) DC. var. murorum Focke
Ampelopsis latifolia Tausch
Ampelopsis quinquefolia (L.) Michx.
Hedera quinquefolia L.
Parthenocissus hirsuta (Pursh) Graebn.
Parthenocissus inserta (Kern.) Fritsch
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch. var. hirsuta (Pursh) Planch.
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch. var. murorum (Focke) Rehder
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch. var. saintpaulii (Koehne ex
Psedera quinquefolia (L.) Greene
Psedera quinquefolia (L.) Greene var. murorum (Focke) Rehder
Vitis inserta Kern.
Vitis quinquefolia (L.) Lam.
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name for Virginia creeper
is Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch. Recognized varieties and forms
are as follows: 1) Parthenocissus quinquefolia var. hirsuta (Pursh) Planch.,
2) Parthenocissus quinquefolia var. minor (Graebn.) Rehd., 3) Parthen-
ocissus quinquefolia var. murorum (Focke) Rehd., 4) Parthenocissus quin-
quefolia var. saint-paulii (Graebn.) Rehd., and 5) Parthenocissus quinque-
folia forma engelmannii (Graebn.) Rehd.
NATIVE STATUS: Native, United States and Canada.
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Virginia creeper is a
woody, deciduous vine that climbs by tendrils to a height of 60 feet (18 m).
The leaves are palmately compound, containing five leaflets, and have
acuminate tips. The twigs are orange brown, finely pubescent with pinnate-
ly branched tendrils ending in adhesive discs. The fruit is a dark purple
berry containing four seeds. The flowers are green, perfect, and borne in
panicles of compound cymes.
REGENERATION PROCESS: Virginia creeper sprouts from horizontal
aboveground stems while wildlife use of Virginia creeper's fruit suggests
that its seeds are also animal dispersed. Natural germination is epigeal and
occurs during the first or second spring following dispersal.
SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Virginia creeper grows over a wide geo-
graphic range. It prefers soils that are moist but grows well in a wide
variety of soil types. Virginia creeper is tolerant of shade but often grows
in open places such as the borders of clearings and along fence rows and
SUCCESSIONAL STATUS: Virginia creeper is a shade-tolerant, mid-to
late-seral species. It grows well under shade but will climb up trees, poles,
and other structures to reach the sunlight. It is a component of climax
forests in the eastern United States.
SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: Virginia creeper flowers between June
and July; fruit ripens between August and October.
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Virginia creeper is widely distributed in
the eastern and central United States. Its range extends from Texas, Okla-
homa, Arkansas, and Louisiana, east to Florida and north through the
Coastal Plain to Maine and Nova Scotia, west to southern Ontario, and
south through parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, eastern Nebraska, and
SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION:
Vine specimens can be found on trails marked in red.
Appalachian Trail/Old Trail
South Ridge/North Ridge
Rolling Meadows/ Lost Mountain
HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES: Common associates
include southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), greenbrier (Smilax
spp.), poison-ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), and grape (Vitis spp.). A com-
plete list of trees growing with Virginia creeper would include a majority of
trees growing in the eastern United States.
IMPORTANCE AND USES: Songbirds are the principal consumers of
Virginia creeper fruit, but deer, squirrels, and other small animals also eat
them. Cattle and deer sometimes browse the foliage.
Virginia creeper provides cover for many small birds and mammals.
Virginia creeper is used for watershed protection and erosion control.
Virginia creeper is often cultivated as an ornamental because of its
attractive foliage. The bark has been used in domestic medicine as a
tonic, expectorant, and remedy for dropsy.
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Sky Meadows Park
Crooked Run Valley