Thursday, October 27, 2011

Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a common vine in the Kalamazoo area and it is widely distributed throughout the Eastern US and Canada. It grows in shade or sun and will climb bushes, trees, fences, and phone poles.

Sometimes it is confused with Poison Ivy since it has a similar form and grows in similar habitats. The leaflet count is the easy way to distinguish the plants: Virginia Creeper's leaves are groups of five, while Poison Ivy has groups of three. (In Spring, young Virginia Creeper plants may show only three leaves at the tip of the vine, making them harder to distinguish; usually, there are 5-leaflet clusters farther down the vine.)

Its leaves can turn a spectacular red in the Fall.

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