An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide – maryholland505@gmail.com

Posts tagged “Vitaceae

Virginia Creeper

As you might assume from its appearance, Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is in the Grape family.  This climbing woody vine clings to the surfaces over which it climbs with adhesive disk-tipped tendrils, which are actually modified flower stalks.  The disks form only after the tendril has made contact with a tree or other surface, at which point the disk secretes a cement-like substance, keeping the vine attached to the substrate long after it has died.  Although it superficially resembles poison ivy, Virginia Creeper has five leaflets (“quinquefolia”), as opposed to poison ivy’s three.  Virginia Creeper’s brilliant red fall foliage is thought to attract birds, which consume the blue-black berries and disperse the seeds.