Virginia Creeper – Parthenocissus quinquefolia
As one of the specimens within the North American deciduous climbing family, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, the Virginia creeper, has a reputation for rapid growth rates and distinctive foliage.The Virginia creeper, also known as the Woodbine, compliments country cottage, rustic and Mediterranean-themed garden styles. The stems of the self-clinging vine have mechanisms which enable the plant to spread quickly over surfaces, penetrating nooks and crannies. Also known as the Victoria creeper or five-leaved ivy, this member of the grape family is a sprawling deciduous climber, easily reaching heights of 70 to 100 feet in the wild. It can climb smooth surfaces- wispy tendrils that are forked at the tip are armed with adhesive elements that help the tendrils bond with slippery surfaces.
A relatively simple to care for plant- requiring only occasional watering and light pruning for maintenance, the perennial vine is listed in the USDA hardiness zone of 4 to 9 and thrives in well-drained soils.
Preferring partial to full sun, the creeper will flower around June or July with green sprouts. The leaf structure is not singular- known as palmately compound leaves, the growing pattern spreads tiny leaves, or leaflets, that radiate from the center like a star, similar to fingers sprouting from the middle of the palm. Highly valued as an ornamental plant for sheer growth capacity, the leaves of the creeper change colors with the seasons, turning a vibrant orange, crimson shade with the onset of colder temperatures and fall weather. Suitable for placement as full ground cover or issues such as coastal exposure or erosion control, the creeper thrives in full to partial sun and can also produce berries. Small flowers produced mature into tiny dark berries, an excellent food resource for visiting birds who often rely on the Virginia creeper and regularly frequent the vine looking for berries.