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PARTHENOCISSUS quinquefolia var. engelmannii

Image of Parthenocissus quinquefolia var. engelmannii

James H. Schutte

Family

Vitaceae

Botanical Name

PARTHENOCISSUS quinquefolia var. engelmannii

Plant Common Name

Virginia Creeper

General Description

This North American native can be quite vigorous and will cover a stone wall or fence in no time. Virginia creeper is a tough, woody vine that clings to surfaces via spidery tendrils tipped with flattened adhesive pads called holdfasts. In the wild, it is found across much of eastern North America from Maine to Florida eastward into Texas where it exists in forests and rambles up trees. It is deciduous and has deep-green palm-shaped compound leaves with five leaflets (quinquefolia means "five-leaved"). In the autumn its foliage turns fiery hues of red and orange.

Virginia creeper blooms with inconspicuous flat-topped clusters of green flowers that mature into black berries. These are eaten by many birds and small mammals, which in turn distribute the plants freely.

This vine grows in full sun to shade and tolerates many soil types as long as they are well-drained. It can be planted along buildings or stone walls, though some worry that such vines can damage mortar. It is a bit too vigorous for arbors, but may be well-suited to large pergolas. This is such a common and pervasive native that it may appear in the yard unexpectedly.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vine/Liana

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    30'-50' / 9.1m - 15.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Pollution, Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Crimson

  • Bark Color

    Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No