Shrubs of Wisconsin

Parthenocissus inserta (A. Kern.) Fritsch.
Grape woodbine; Virginia creeper
Family: Vitaceae
plant leaves flower fruit twig

This species is really a vine, but we have so few species of woody vines in Wisconsin that it is included with the shrubs. Notice that the leaves are alternate and palmately compound--the leaflets radiate from a common point. The stems are weak, but they climb by attaching tendrils to a surface or by wrapping them around adjacent plants or other objects. The tendrils in this species do not have pads at the ends--distinguishing P. vitacea from the similar P. quinquefolia. The fruits are blue with red stalks and they are roughly similar in appearance to the common wild grape, Vitis riparia.

Parthenocissus vitacea is common and widely distributed in Wisconsin, perhaps most common in seasonally wet soil of flood plain forests, but found in a wide variety of rocky and disturbed sites, along fencerows, in disturbed upland forests and even in old fields on heavier soils.

Other common names include: “woodbine”,  “thicket creeper”, “false Virginia creeper”, “five-leaved ivy”, “American ivy", “false grape" and probably others.


known Wisconsin distribution


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