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FALSE VIRGINIA-CREEPER

WOODBINE / FALSE VIRGINIA CREEPER

Parthenocissus vitacea

Vine Family [Vitaceae]

month8sep month8sept month8oct month8nov

Berries: berryZpossible        berryZgreen berryZyellow berryZbluish berryZblack  (5-7mmφ, poisonous)
berry8oct berry8nov berry8dec

category
category8Climbers
status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8green
 
flower
flower8cream
 
inner
inner8brown
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
sepals
stem
stem8round
 
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
 

17th June 2014, nr Gait Barrows, Arnside, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves have a shiny glossy-green upper surface (whereas those of Virginia Creeper have duller green leaves)


17th June 2014, nr Gait Barrows, Arnside, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Palmate leaves with usually 5 leaflets.


17th June 2014, nr Gait Barrows, Arnside, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Lacks discs at the ends of tendrils just as per spec.


10th Sept 2014, nr Rimrose Park, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Whereas this specimen from the Leeds & Liverpool canal possesses dull-green leaves when they are supposed to be bright shiny green.


10th Sept 2014, nr Rimrose Park, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD


10th Sept 2014, nr Rimrose Park, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD


10th Sept 2014, nr Rimrose Park, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD


10th Sept 2014, nr Rimrose Park, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
New leaves are smaller. This is on a new branch with several discless tendrils.


10th Sept 2014, nr Rimrose Park, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD


10th Sept 2014, nr Rimrose Park, Leeds & Liverpool Canal, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Discless tendrils. Also, the number of branches on a tendril is 3-5 (unlike Virginia Creeper where there are 5-8 (and up to 12) branches on a tendril. The leaves have teeth which are more acutely serrate (than those of Virginia Creeper).


Easily mistaken for : Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) but that has dull-green leaves and tendrils which have sticky discoidal pads on the ends, which means not only can it climb by twisting tendrils around small objects such as other plant branches but also straight up walls. Virginia Creeper also has 5-8 tendrils (rather than 3-5 for False Virginia-creeper).

Some similarities to : Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricspidata) but that has (most) leaves which have either 3 lobes (rather than leaflets) or are just simple leaves. No relation to : Virgin's-Bower (Clematis flammula) or Early Virgin's-bower (Clematis cirrhosa) [other scrambling plants with tendrils lacking sticky pads and with a similar names but belonging to a differing family].

Nor is it related to Trumpet-creeper (Campsis radicans).

The berries, which end up being a blackish-blue grape-colour, are poisonous containing raphide crystals of Oxalic Acid which are so sharp and narrow as to easily penetrate and rupture individual cells causing lysis; it is thus a mechanical poison - oxalic acid is not very soluble in water. Death is a possibility if a lot has been consumed. The sap also contains oxalic acid which can cause a persistent itchiness and redness if scratched.

Unlike Virginia Creeper, the tendrils on False Virginia-creeper do not have a sticky disc at their terminations, so they can only clamber and grab-hold of a purchase on other plants by means of twisting their tendrils around branches and other small objects. They cannot climb smooth vertical walls as can Virginia Creeper, which it does by means of the sticky discs at the end of each tendril.


  Parthenocissus vitacea  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Vitaceae  

Distribution
 family8Vine family8Vitaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Parthenocissus
Parthenocissus
(Virginia-Creepers)

FALSE VIRGINIA-CREEPER

WOODBINE / FALSE VIRGINIA CREEPER

Parthenocissus vitacea

Vine Family [Vitaceae]