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Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Posted: May 1, 2007 11:16 pm
by GreenBro
General info about Fruit

Virginia creeper or five-leaved ivy (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a woody vine native to eastern and central North America, in southeastern Canada, the eastern and central United States, eastern Mexico, and Guatemala, west as far as Manitoba, South Dakota, Utah and Texas.
It is a prolific climber, reaching heights of 20-30 m in the wild, it climbs smooth surfaces using small forked tendrils tipped with small strongly adhesive pads 5 mm in size. The leaves are palmately compound, comprised of five leaflets (rarely three leaflets, particularly on younger vines) joined from a central point on the leafstalk, and range from 3-20 cm (rarely 30 cm) across. The leaflets have a toothed margin, which makes it easy to distinguish from poison-ivy, which has three leaflets with smooth edges.

Ways to prepare and serve the Fruit

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit; Root; Stem.
Fruit - raw. The fruit is not very well flavoured, nor is it produced very freely. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter and is carried in small bunches like grapes. Stalks - cooked. They should be peeled and then boiled. The stalks are cut, boiled and peeled, and the sweetish substance between the bark and the wood is used for food. Root - cooked.

Health Benefits and Warnings of eating Fruit

Medicinal Uses
Alterative; Astringent; Diuretic; Expectorant; Tonic.
The bark and fresh young shoots are aperient, alterative, emetic, expectorant and tonic. A hot decoction can be used as a poultice to help reduce swellings. A tea made from the leaves is aperient, astringent and diuretic. It is used as a wash on swellings and poison ivy rash. A tea made from the plant is used in the treatment of jaundice. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of gonorrhoea and diarrhea. The fruit is useful in treating fevers.

Other Uses
Dye; Ground cover.
A pink dye is obtained from the fruit. The plant can be allowed to fall down banks and make a spreading ground cover. They are best spaced about 3 metres apart each way. They are very vigorous, however, and would soon swamp smaller plants.


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Vitales
Family: Vitaceae
Genus: Parthenocissus
Species: P. quinquefolia
Binomial name
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Re: Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Posted: Dec 3, 2010 4:04 am
by meign
Just to know how this creeper looks like... with some other berrries featured

Re: Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Posted: Oct 28, 2011 3:12 am
by SamSchaperow
Some consider these poisonous, and others say edible. What is the truth? And importantly, who has eaten these successfully? If so, were they raw/dried/other? How many were eaten? Ingested fully? Please share.

Re: Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus Quinquefolia)

Posted: Jul 28, 2012 7:25 am
by xplr60
Virginia Creeper is an East Coast native. It is raised for its brilliant fall foliage and ability to make an excellent ground cover as long as it contained and not allowed to climb trees, fences or structures. Also known as woodbine.

This is a broadleaf deciduous vine that can grow to a length of 30’-50’. Leaves are arranged in a compound, palmate fashion with five leaflets radiating out from a leaf petiole like spokes on a wheel. Individual leaflets are 3”-7” long and 1”-2” wide. Leaf margins are coarsely serrated. Tendrils emerge along the leaf petioles. With sticky adhesive discs at the ends of the tendrils, Virginia Creeper can climb plants and surfaces.

Flowers form in early summer. Each flower is ¼” wide and are yellow-green. Later in the summer flowers morph to 1/3” berries which mature to fleshy blue berries which each have 2 seeds.