Parthenocissus quinquefolia - woodbine or Virginia creeper

Woodbine, also called Virginia creeper, has five-fingered, beautiful green leaves in summer, turning brilliant shades of deep red in autumn. It grows fast and high, using suction cups in the tips of its tendrils to tightly grip any solid surface. It has been widely used to decorate the stone and brick walls of houses, but can also be used to hide or beautify fences, refuse collection points and other structures, not to mention road ramps and similar difficult sites. In the wild the species grows along the ground, climbing up any obstructions it meets, such as trees and shrubs.

Woodbine is native to the eastern parts of North America and is one of the species Carl von Linné’s student and apostle Pehr (Pietari) Kalm brought back from his explorations of the area in 1747-51. Later the species P. inserta has been separated from P. quinquefolia, the former climbing by twining tendrils around supports rather than by suction cups; P. inserta is also more robust in form and slightly hardier than P. quinquefolia.


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